Supporters of Georgia bill: Abortion providers are racist

Macon TelegraphMarch 10, 2010 

ATLANTA — A bill that would criminalize race-based abortions narrowly cleared committee at the Georgia Capitol Wednesday evening, drawing the Georgia General Assembly closer to a full-blown abortion debate.

House Bill 1155 grew out of Georgia Right to Life's ongoing campaign to widen its reach in the black community. The group has placed billboards around the Atlanta area that say "Black children are an endangered species."

The group is taking statistics that show abortions to be much more common among minorities than among whites, combining them with the locations of abortion clinics and counseling centers near black neighborhoods, and using this correlation to accuse abortion rights advocates of outright eugenics.

The bill would make it illegal for anyone to solicit or coerce a woman to have an abortion "based in any way on account of the race, color, or sex of the unborn child." Doctors would face up to 10 years in prison if they perform an abortion despite knowing that the woman has been coerced. The women who get the abortions would not be criminally liable at all, the bill states.

Opponents brought up several issues with the bill during Wednesday's committee meeting, which lasted most of the afternoon and was one of several hearings held on the bill.

Some thought it hypocritical to go after doctors, but not women who want an abortion based on the baby's sex or race. Some said the measure won't pass constitutional muster, and will cost Georgia significant money to fight about in court. Several people from abortion rights, women's rights and minority advocacy groups said the measure will have a chilling effect, leaving doctors nervous to perform any abortion on a black woman.

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