Georgia lawmakers are poised to take up a controversial bill that would outlaw abortions prompted by the baby’s race or gender, an issue that has inspired a billboard campaign claiming a racial conspiracy is behind the termination of pregnancies.
Are health care providers using abortion to curb the growth of the U.S. black population?
That question will be at heart of a debate among Georgia lawmakers, who are poised to take up a controversial bill that would outlaw abortions prompted by the baby’s race or gender.
As for the bill, it barely made it out of committee this week, in a 7-6 vote and it still needs to clear the Rules Committee before heading to the full House, but proponents are emboldened by the recent committee vote.
If the bill passes, providers cannot solicit, perform or accept funding for abortions they know are prompted by the baby’s race or gender. Providers who are found guilty each would face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000. Pregnant women would not be held liable.
Loudermilk, who acknowledged that enforcement will be difficult, said the bill applies the same standards used for outlawing discrimination in workplace and in schools.
Catherine Davis, director of minority outreach for Georgia Right to Life, the group behind the billboard campaign, told FoxNews.com that she supports the legislation that she says will address an issue that has “such a disproportionate impact on the black community rather than every other community in Georgia, as well as the nation.”
Davis noted that in 2008, blacks made up 30 percent of the population in Georgia but more than 57 percent of the abortions.
“Those numbers are so horrific,” she said. “There has to be something else contributing to this number.”
Davis said one study shows there is a direct correlation between the location of most abortion clinics in urban areas and the number of abortions by black women. In Georgia, she said, 100 percent of the clinics are in urban areas. Nationwide, it’s 75 percent, she said.
Ross [Loretta Ross, national coordinator of SisterSong, an abortion-rights group] agrees that abortion is having a disproportionate impact on the black community.
“Because of health disparities, less access to birth control, less access to sex education,” she said. “We have a higher rate of childhood sexual abuse. . . . And so when you have those types of disparities, you’ll have unintended consequences.