(ATLANTA) — NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia today announced a new digital ad campaign targeting state legislators who supported HB 481, Georgia’s extreme ban on abortion, and aimed at educating voters about the anti-choice records of their elected officials. The campaign will run in 8 state legislative districts represented by anti-choice lawmakers who backed HB 481 last session.
Last May, Governor Kemp and anti-choice lawmakers launched a dangerous and extreme attack on Georgia women and families, while turning a blind eye to the state’s growing healthcare crises, including the worst maternal mortality rate in the country.
HB 481 effectively outlawed abortion before many women would even know they’re pregnant, and fits into the anti-choice movement’s extreme ideological agenda to criminalize abortion and punish women. NARAL’s more than 38,000 Georgia members fought back during the 2019 legislative session to stand up for women and families, and will not forget that they turned their backs on women.
“Governor Kemp and anti-choice politicians launched a cruel and dangerous attack on reproductive freedom, and we’re going to make sure Georgia voters know that with this vote they’ve opened women up to be jailed for abortions or miscarriages,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia State Director, Laura Simmons. “Lawmakers will not be let off the hook for the votes they cast — especially when those votes are designed to hurt women and families and attack health care providers in a state already struggling to provide adequate care to Georgians. NARAL Georgia was on the ground for this fight from day one, and we will make sure that anti-choice state legislators are held to account.”
“Anti-choice lawmakers need to be held accountable after they spent a legislative session attacking reproductive freedom and ignoring the serious problems facing Georgia women and families,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President, Ilyse Hogue. “When Brian Kemp and anti-choice state legislators worked to pass a bill stripping away our fundamental rights, NARAL members made our voices heard, and we’re not done yet. 7 in 10 Georgians oppose ending access to abortion and deserve to know whether their representatives stand with them. This campaign will let Georgia voters know how their representatives voted on this cruel and draconian legislation that hurts women and families.”
Attacks on Americans’ reproductive freedom like HB 481 have been spreading across the country. As HB 481’s lead sponsor Representative Ed Setzler admitted, the bill is part of the anti-choice movement’s broader plan to gut Roe v. Wade and end access to abortion. Already this year, bills to ban or severely restrict abortion have passed in Louisiana, Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, Missouri, and Alabama with current legislation now pending in South Carolina. These bans come as support for abortion rights reaches a record high, and new polling indicates that reproductive freedom is a motivator for Democrats ahead of 2020.
But Kemp’s anti-choice attack on women and families generated major backlash from business—including from Georgia’s significant film industry—and executives from major companies such as Amazon and Coca-Cola. The Writers Guild of America, over 100 Hollywood celebrities, local business leaders, and major progressive figures like Stacey Abrams all condemned this bill and pointed out its threat to Georgia’s economic opportunity going forward.
NARAL members have been on the ground fighting back against new assaults on reproductive freedom ever since HB 481 was first proposed. A record-breaking 200+ pro-choice activists from across the state flooded the halls of the Capitol during debate on these cruel anti-choice measures, and NARAL Georgia members made over 6,000 calls and wrote hundreds of heartfelt letters to lawmakers asking them to stand up for reproductive freedom and oppose criminalizing abortion. This work continues with this latest ad campaign to make sure Georgia voters know their elected officials’ records on this critical issue for Georgia women and families.