The Atlanta City Council unanimously approved a resolution Monday afternoon opposing the abortion bill that Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law this month.
Councilmember Amir Farokhi, who introduced the legislation, called the 13-0 vote an important statement.
“As the state’s largest city, it’s important that we join the chorus of Georgians speaking out for a woman’s right to choose,” Farokhi said in a news release. “The values represented in that bill are not those held by the majority of Atlantans.”
Farokhi called House Bill 481, which bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, and other laws like it an affront to rights set forth in the Constitution and upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. He said the vote was meant to show solidarity with prosecutors who’ve said they won’t prosecute women for having abortions, despite the new law.
“Every woman has the right to choose,” he said. “It’s not a decision that the government or, frankly, men, have any business interfering with. No woman should live in fear of prison time or the death penalty for making a decision regarding her health. Likewise, doctors should not fear imprisonment for doing their job.”
The abortion bans now passed in nine states—including Georgia—prompted the advocates challenging them to issue a national call to action for Tuesday. The groups are tagging their social media statements #StoptheBans.
Nearly 30 similar bans have been introduced around the country, according to NARAL, formerly known as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws—which has also planned demonstrations around the country for Tuesday.
Georgia’s law and other so-called heartbeat bills block abortions at about six weeks and are designed to make almost all abortions illegal. Opponents, calling the bans “forced pregnancy bills,” say they cut off options before most women would know about a pregnancy or confirm it with a clinic.
Alabama followed Georgia and went even further, banning all abortions and allowing no exceptions for rape or incest. Gov. Kay Ivey signed the ban into law immediately. Missouri followed Alabama with an eight-week ban.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, which is at work on a legal challenge, organized a #StoptheBans demonstration at the state Capitol Tuesday. The Georgia Alliance for Social Justice joined with the ACLU.
“The choice of when and whether to have a family is private and personal. Politicians have no business inserting themselves into decisions made by women and couples in consultation with their own faith, their own family and their own physician,” ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young said in a news release Monday. “The appropriate place for our elected officials to act with regard to the health of Georgia’s women and families is by expanding Medicaid and making healthcare accessible to all.”
Other groups joining in include: Emily’s List, which promotes women for political office, Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Women’s March.