For the last week, I’ve heard one recurring theme from pro-abortion protestors around the State Capitol: if pro-lifers support passing HB 481, the LIFE Act, to restrict abortions after 6 weeks, then it must mean that we don’t care about women.
Reality couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is that Georgia is facing a maternal health crisis, and HB 481 takes significant strides to protect women and children across our state.
In 2010, Amnesty International sounded the alarm and released a report showing Georgia was the worst state in the nation for maternal mortality. In the years that have followed, reports show that the number of maternal deaths in our state have doubled and that things only seem to be getting worse.
According to Reviews in Obstetrics and Gynecology, abortion is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality, resulting in 13% of all maternal deaths worldwide and leaving more than 5 million women with long-term health complications .
Additionally, a National Institute of Health publication in November of 2018 reported that approximately 20,000 women will experience complications from an abortion in the United States, with 40% of those complications resulting in an emergency department visits within six weeks of the initial abortion procedure – primarily for obstetric hemorrhaging. They also report that the frequency and severity of abortion complications in mothers grow dramatically as the gestational age of their babies increases, with up to 50% of 2nd-trimester abortions experiencing complications compared to less than 1% of abortions prior to 8 weeks .
Lastly, 5 of the 10 worst Georgia counties for maternal mortality (Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Clayton, and Cobb) accounted for 36% of maternal mortality as well as 56% of abortions statewide in 2016-2017 .
Based on this data, we can expect that approximately 550 women in Georgia will experience a complication from their abortion each year and are at critical risk of experiencing injuries that lead to obstetric hemorrhaging, which is the second-leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in Georgia .
Not only would HB 481 protect innocent children with beating hearts, it would restrict abortions to before 6 weeks and only be committed within adequately-equipped facilities – which will significantly reduce the number of pregnant mothers at risk of complication, injury, and death in Georgia.
With that in mind, we thank the Georgia House for passing this critical legislation and ask our Senators to stand together for healthy mothers and health babies by sending HB 481 to Governor Kemp’s desk to sign into law.
Because we care about women.
Joshua Edmonds is the Executive Director of Georgia Life Alliance, the state affiliate for National Right to Life.