Republicans in the House this week passed a medically unnecessary abortion restriction, setting an arbitrary time constraint on when a pregnant person can get an abortion. And guess who led the way? None other than the newly elected Karen Handel.
Rep. Handel, who has years of experience promoting anti-choice policies, took to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday afternoon to lead debate about the bill.
The bill, H.R. 36, mirrors a restriction already in place in Georgia, but anti-choice leaders are working hard to push abortion out of reach for pregnant people around the nation. Thanks to the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling — which is overwhelmingly supported by seven in ten Americans — anti-choice activists can’t just outlaw abortion. So, instead, they chip away at access, pushing policies that make it harder, more expensive, and more challenging to get an abortion.
Karen Handel and the other anti-choice Republicans in the House are using fake science to peddle their bad policy, with absolutely no concern about the real consequences arbitrary abortion restrictions have on pregnant people and their families.
Throughout a pregnancy, a woman should be able to get the care she needs. When a pregnant person seeks an abortion, they should be able to access abortion care that is rooted in medically accurate information, and provided without lies or shame. Anti-choice politicians have proven again and again that lies, shame and manipulation are their top tools for restricting access to abortion; the health and wellness of women simply does not matter.
During her time at the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Handel made it clear she prioritizes her anti-abortion agenda above the health and wellness of women. Now that she’s in office, she’s able to wield unprecedented power to put those policies into place on a national scale.
Laura Simmons, the Georgia State Director of NARAL Pro-Choice America, raised serious concerns about the bill in a press release earlier this week.
“Of all the things Republican leaders should be focusing on, including tragedies in Las Vegas and Puerto Rico, they have instead decided to make attacking women’s rights their top priority,” she said.
“Rep. Handel and the out-of-touch GOP sold out Georgia women and voted to take away our rights…Women and families in these difficult situations deserve safe and comprehensive care, not one-size-fits-all judgements from anti-choice politicians,” Simmons added.
Georgia’s Republican congress members — all white men, with the exception of Rep. Handel — overwhelmingly voted for the bill.
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Drew A. Ferguson
Karen C. Handel