AAPI Women: GA Governor Kemp Is Hellbent on Attacking Our Agency and Autonomy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2019
Contact: Roula AbiSamra
(404) 273-7858 / rabisamra@napawf.org

Georgia activists fighting for reproductive rights are available for interviews by phone or in person from Atlanta, GA. To schedule, please contact Nick at Nick@MegaphoneStrategies.com.

ATLANTA, GA — Yesterday, Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed into law HB 481, a bill that bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, before most people even know that they are pregnant. The law is set to take effect on January 1, 2020, unless it is blocked by a judge.

NAPAWF Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:

“Despite the fierce opposition of Georgians who are people of color, Governor Kemp has chosen to ignore our demands for autonomy over our lives through our reproductive rights and health and is instead waging an all-out attack on our ability to self determine our lives. If not blocked by the courts, AAPI pregnant people who are uninsured or lack access to reproductive healthcare won’t even have the chance to know if they are pregnant before this draconian abortion ban stops them from receiving the care they deserve with dignity.

“A recent nationwide poll showed that 80 percent of AAPI women strongly believe that candidates should support women making their own decisions about their reproductive health. In Georgia, despite voter suppression against our community in November, AAPI women came out to vote, and we refused to let our votes and our voices be disposable. We now refuse to stay silent, and we will continue to vehemently fight back against these continued attacks on our bodies, our families, and our communities.”

NAPAWF Georgia chapter member Zunera Mirza said:

“As the state ranked highest in maternal mortality, Georgia has failed to support women. Too many women in Georgia are underinsured or uninsured, and living without the option of paid or unpaid family leave from work. In Georgia, 79 of our 159 counties do not have a single provider of obstetric care. Hospitals continue to close and hospital systems consolidate, limiting in-network options for those who do have insurance. Options to receive basic health care and preventive services are limited.

HB 481 is an unconscionable assault on women's health and bodily autonomy. It is an attack on communities of color, who are already disproportionately at risk during pregnancy. AAPI women, and all women in Georgia, deserve to self determine our lives. We deserve to have the trust of our government in how we manage our health care decisions."

NAPAWF Georgia Organizer Roula AbiSamra added:

“By signing HB 481, Brian Kemp further swings open the door for the racist and disgusting practice of investigating and criminalizing people of color for our pregnancy outcomes. Law enforcement has shown its willingness to racially profile us, and AAPI women like Purvi Patel and Bei Bei Shuai have been targeted, investigated, and incarcerated by such racial profiling for their pregnancy outcomes. This abortion ban sends yet another chilling message to our community: the state is watching you. But we refuse to live in fear: we will fight what may come our way if HB 481 goes into effect in Georgia. From day one, NAPAWF members in Georgia have been vocal to our elected officials about the terrible consequences of abortion restrictions and how they affect the AAPI community.


Today, abortion care is still available in Georgia. We count on the courts to do the right thing and stop this horrendous policy in its tracks. We realize that we cannot rely on courts alone: legislative attacks on our rights and autonomy must stop. These restrictions are being copied across several states and this is part of a coordinated outside agenda to restrict our rights nationwide. NAPAWF members in Georgia and across the country will demand accountability from our elected officials, and will continue organizing in our communities to secure our agency, dignity, and basic human rights.”

A statement from member organizations of the Georgia Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice Coalition can be found here.

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.