For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 1, 2022
Washington, DC — Today, anti-choice lawmakers in the Georgia state Senate passed SB 456, a bill with multiple restrictions on medication abortion care, a safe and effective method for ending an early pregnancy. These anti-choice mandates include an unnecessary in-person examination and forced ultrasound before someone can access medication abortion care, and a prohibition on physicians sending medication abortion through the mail, delivery, or carrier. The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives for consideration.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Southeast Campaigns Director Alicia Stallworth released the following statement in response:
“Anti-choice Republicans in the Georgia state Senate claim they want to protect Georgians, but SB 456 does nothing of the sort. This bill dismisses the science and deliberately ignores decades of evidence that medication abortion is safe and effective. This is nothing more than a politically-motivated attempt to push access to care out of reach—particularly for those who already face systemic barriers. We should be looking for ways to expand access to abortion in Georgia at this critical time, not push it further away.”
For over 20 years, medication abortion care has been a safe and effective FDA-approved option for ending an early pregnancy. Nevertheless, the anti-choice movement—and the politicians that do its bidding—have ramped up attacks on it as part of their strategy to push access to abortion entirely out of reach. Restrictions like SB 456 are especially burdensome for Black and brown people, Indigenous people, and other people of color; LGBTQ people; those with low incomes; and others who face systemic barriers to care.
If enacted, SB 456 would block people from the care they need by making medication abortion even more difficult to access in the state of Georgia, a state that already faces a steep provider shortage. The Georgia Board of Health Care Workforce states that nearly half of Georgia’s counties do not have an obstetrician or gynecologist (76 of 159). Georgia already has some of the most severe restrictions on abortion in the United States, including forcing delays before someone can access abortion care and subjecting those seeking care to mandatory biased counseling. SB 456 would only add to the list of medically unnecessary restrictions on abortion already in place in Georgia.
This attack on medication abortion care comes as the fate of Roe v. Wade is in the hands of the anti-choice supermajority on the U.S. Supreme Court. If the Court upholds Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, the constitutional right to abortion recognized in Roe will be undone. If Roe falls, 28 states—including Georgia and many of its surrounding states— would likely take action to prohibit abortion.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.