Reproductive Freedom Act Takes Aim at Current GA Abortion Ban
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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