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GA Anti-Choice Bill Approved by State Senate

A Georgia bill that seeks to criminalize abortions on the basis of race was approved by the state Senate late last week on a 33 to 14 vote. The bill will now be considered by the Georgia state House, whose Judiciary Non-Civil Committee voted 7 to 6 in favor of the bill earlier this month. The bill states that “A person commits the offense of criminal solicitation of abortion when that person solicits or coerces another person with the intent that an abortion be performed based in any way on account of the race, color, or sex of the unborn child or the race or color of either parent of that child.” The bill does not hold pregnant women who are the “targets” of said criminal solicitation liable. According to Heidi Williamson of SisterSong, both the House and Senate “bills suggest that abortion providers solicit and coerce African-American women for the sole purpose of aborting black babies [and] both bills exploit African-American women and discriminate against them in hopes of confounding leaders in the African-American community, and splitting the black vote during mid-term elections.” The bill is being pushed by Georgia Right to Life, which has taken statistics on race and abortion rates and correlated them with the location of clinics in and near minority neighborhoods to accuse pro-choice advocates of “outright eugenics.” This group has also sponsored hundreds of billboards in Atlanta and throughout Georgia that state “Black children are an endangered species” in an effort to push the current legislation. After the billboards appeared in February, Professor Beverly Guy-Sheftall of Spelman College told the New York Daily News that “To use racist arguments to try to bait black people to get them to be anti-abortion is just disgusting…These one-issue approaches that are not about saving the black family or black children, it’s just a big distraction.”

Sources:

Feminist Daily Newswire 3/11/10; Georgia HB 1155; New York Daily News 2/15/10; RH Reality Check 3/30/10

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