Georgia Female Legislators Stage Walk Out To Protest Anti-Abortion And Contraception Bills

Accusing the GOP of waging a war against women, the Democratic women of the Georgia senate staged a walk out yesterday to protest two measures that would significantly limit access to abortion services and contraception. The bills, passed yesterday, prohibit state employees from using their state health benefits to pay for abortions and stipulate that “employees of private religious institutions have no right to demand that their insurance policies pay for contraceptives, as the Obama Administration wants to require.”

“What we’re seeing here,” Sen. Nan Orrock said, “is an ideological battle that’s being waged to make women a target, to take our access to our Constitutional right of privacy and also our ability to make our health decisions with our doctor and our own best judgment. And it’s government intruding into that decision. The origins of this bill are ideological, it’s coming from an extreme, right, fundamental point of view. And that doesn’t bode well for women in Georgia.” Watch a local news story:

Republican Sen. Josh McKoon insisted that “the war that’s being waged is on a religious minority in this country that has strong beliefs” and predicted that both measures would pass the House, where the GOP has control.

The Guttmacher Institute estimates that “about 430 abortion restrictions that have been introduced into state legislatures this year, which is pretty much in the same ballpark as 2011.” Follow the key bills moving through the states, here.