It’s an election year, so Republicans in Georgia want to make sure they shore up their conservative cred in advance of the primaries on May 22 and the general election on November 6.
And what better target to accomplish this than by targeting abortion access?
Anti-choice policy makers know they cannot outright make abortion illegal, given that seven in ten Americans oppose policies to overturn Roe v. Wade. So instead, they try to pass laws that chip away at abortion access, making it more and more difficult and costly to get an abortion.
Enter SB 74, a bill from Sen. Josh McKoon. This bill will make it harder for some of Georgia’s most vulnerable youth to access abortion care: minors who face serious harm, like being thrown out of their home or facing physical abuse, if their parents find out they are pregnant or seeking an abortion.
When minors seek out abortion care in this state, our laws require that their parents be notified. The reality is, the vast majority of minors accessing abortion care do so with the support of their parents. When someone we love is getting an abortion, most of us want to support that person and make sure they have an experience that is respectful, supportive and based on medically accurate information.
Unfortunately, for a very small number of minors each year, notifying their parents that they are pregnant or seeking an abortion could result in physical violence or being kicked out of their home. For those minors, there is a process called judicial bypass, where the young person goes before a juvenile court judge, and that judge can grant the minor an exception to the parental notification requirement after evaluating the minor’s maturity level and situation.
In 2016, only 36 minors used this judicial bypass process to get an abortion. Again, for most minors, their parents want to see the person they love access abortion care in an environment that is supportive and grounded in the science of medicine (and not the beliefs of anti-choice politicians). But, for the small number of minors who need to use the judicial bypass process to access abortion care, it’s critically important it remains accessible.
McKoon’s bill would raise the standard so that it would become legally easier to become an adult (to get emancipated) than to get an abortion. Since 2010, anti-choice politicians around the nation have passed almost 400 laws that restrict access to abortion. In that same time frame, Georgia has passed it’s own share of laws to continue to chip away at abortion access. This is just one more law to make it harder to get an abortion, and part of larger efforts by anti-choice politicians to push abortion out of reach for as many people as possible.
This bill has already passed in the Senate, now it’s time to stop it in the House. The bill is currently in the Juvenile Justice Committee, and could get voted on any day. Feminist Women’s Health Center has been working hard at the state capitol to make our voices heard and stop anti-abortion bills, but policy makers need to hear from you!
Here are three things you can do right now to stop this bill:
- Sign up for FWHC’s action alerts here, and be the first to get updates on SB 74 and other anti-abortion bills.
- Call 404-656-5105 and tell Chairwoman Mandi Ballinger that you’ll be watching SB 74 and you don’t want to see it come up for a vote.
- Find your state representative here, and make it loud and clear you oppose SB 74.
Conservative politicians in Georgia are pushing anti-abortion policies in order to push abortion access out of reach, and shore up their conservative credentials ahead of this year’s election. These policies do NOT reflect the values of the vast majority of Americans (and Georgians). Get involved and help stop SB 74 today.