Being a grad student who is pursuing a degree in Political Science, it is in my vested interest to keep up with what is going on politically in Georgia. So while perusing the upcoming legislation for the Georgia General Assembly, I stumbled upon this little gem.
This is House Bill 1 (or HB1, for short), and it was presented for prefile by Representative Bobby Franklin. This odious bill, if enacted into law, would impose a total ban on abortion in the state, one that rivals the South Dakota ban. This means no abortion even in the case of rape, incest, or detriment to the health of the mother, and for the life of me, I have scoured this bill, and it makes no mention of allowing for an abortion to save the life of the mother.
Despite the obvious disagreement that I have with this bill, it irks the political analyst in me because of the poor skills shown in the actual construction of this bill. In Section one, part a, Rep. Franklin presents several "facts" to support his argument regarding abortion, such as the claim that
"Studies of the three decades since Roe v. Wade have revealed that women have been deeply wounded psychologically, with one researcher reporting that 81 percent of the women who have had an abortion had a preoccupation with an aborted child, 54 percent had nightmares, 35 percent had perceived visitation with an aborted child, and 96 percent felt their abortion had taken a human life."Yet Rep. Franklin makes no effort to provide citation of his research. He also uses research that has been refuted scientifically, such as the supposed link between breast cancer and abortion, and presents it as fact:
"Thirty years of abortion on demand have resulted in an increase in breast cancer, and a study has shown that women who had an abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy before experiencing a full-term pregnancy may be at increased risk for breast cancer".As you'll recall, this has been shot down several times.
He also makes other unsubstantiated claims, such as "abortion results in increased tobacco smoking" or "abortion is linked to alcohol and drug use". My first thought after reading this was "who in their right mind would write such a terrible, terrible bill, with no citation?" Then I remembered: Ah. Yes, I'm dealing with a fundamentalist conservative. They're never in their right mind. Bob Franklin's profile on the GGA website says it all. He graduated with a degree in, get this, Bible Studies and Business Administration. This is also the same representative that has introduced HB6, which if enacted, will prevent law enforcement and rescue officials from confiscating weapons from civilians in an emergency, nor require registration or prohibit the possession of a firearm in an emergency.
Perhaps the most interesting detail about this political train-wreck is that it is not, as usual, about "protecting the fetus". Yet it is also not simply about oppressing women, either. Rep. Franklin manages to muddy the fundamentalist waters even further by revealing his true intentions in Section 1, a(15): "The practice of abortion has caused the citizens of this state an inestimable amount economically, including, but not limited to, the costs and tax burden of having to care for individuals and their families for the conditions cited above, as well as significant reduction of the tax base and the availability of workers, entrepreneurs, teachers, employees, and employers that would have significantly contributed to the prosperity of this state."
I nearly swallowed my own tongue when I saw this. Finally, we have someone who has come right out and said what we've suspected all along: Outlawing abortions means more workers to exploit.
I am asking everyone who reads this, and who also reside in Georgia, to please, please contact your representatives, both House and Senate, in the Georgia General Assembly. It is still in the prefile stage, which means that there is plenty of time to act before this actually comes to a vote. But don't wait too long, since it will more than likely be the first bill up for consideration. We want to give our representatives a good, long time to mull over this travesty.
NARAL Georgia has jumped on the case, but keep spreading the word, in case you know any pro-choice Georgians who are no members.
If you live outside of Georgia, please, help us raise a stink! Post this on your own blogs, tell your friends, family, etc. Perhaps a little national public shaming will make the Georgia representatives think twice about passing legislation like this, period.
Now, for a little discussion starter: This bill comes on the heels of South Dakota's total ban being voted down in a referendum, and is obviously an attempt to send this to the conservative Supreme Court. Do you think that the SD ban's defeat has spurred anti-choice conservatives to action (despite Democrats gaining control of Congress), and is the Georgia bill only the first of many?