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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in US, global migratory fish populations.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial, while both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Reproductive Freedom Act Takes Aim at Current GA Abortion Ban

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Monday, February 20, 2023   

Reproductive rights groups are supporting legislation to restore abortion access in Georgia.

The Reproductive Freedom Act was filed to repeal House Bill 481, the state's six-week abortion ban, as well as certain other abortion restrictions opponents say are medically unjustified.

Roula AbiSamra, state campaign director with the Amplify Georgia Collaborative, said current state law bans abortion after "embryonic cardiac activity" is detected.

She called the law "misleading," and said there is no heartbeat at the six-week stage of pregnancy when the ban is enforced. She said the new legislation would guarantee abortion access.

"The Reproductive Freedom Act," said AbiSamra, "is our vision for what abortion access would look like in Georgia if it were truly accessible, and truly equitable, to get affordable care in your own community that was of high quality, respected your dignity and your autonomy to decide for yourself."

She noted that Georgians who are at least six weeks pregnant currently have the option to go to other states for an abortion, including Florida, North Carolina - and, for the time being, South Carolina.

Five other nearby states have already banned the procedure.

The Reproductive Freedom Act has three main components. They include enshrining in the law that anyone who is pregnant has the right to decide if they're going to continue their pregnancy.

It repeals some restrictions to care that pro-choice advocates say are medically unnecessary.

And AbiSamra said it expands access to care by expanding the kinds of insurance plans that can cover abortion.

"For example, currently, because of state law, state employees' healthcare plans are not allowed to cover abortion," said AbiSamra. "Obamacare plans sold in Georgia are not allowed to cover abortion, even though it's a federal program."

AbiSamra added that now that the federal protections of the 'Roe v. Wade' decision are gone, it is up to state lawmakers to decide whether Georgians have reproductive care rights - and if so, to affirm those rights.

Amplify Georgia Collaborative is circulating a petition on its website in support of the Act, which has been filed as House Bill 75 and Senate Bill 15.




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