Doctor, Reproductive Care Advocate & Attorneys Demand Answers from Kemp on Impacts of Extreme Abortion Ban

July 22, 2022

After Gov. Brian Kemp’s extreme ban on abortion took effect in Georgia, doctors, reproductive care advocates, and attorneys came together today to highlight the severe danger it poses to women and health care providers, and demand answers on how people seeking and performing abortion services would be punished under the restrictive new law. If re-elected, Kemp has already made clear his desire to go even further on banning abortion with no exceptions in cases of rape and incest.

Watch and download footage of the press conference here, which features the full remarks from each speaker.

With Kemp’s dangerous ban posing many unknowns, speakers raised crucial questions that leading Republicans, like Governor Kemp, Attorney General Carr, Speaker Ralston, and the abortion ban’s sponsor are avoiding, such as:

  • Will women be investigated for miscarriages?
  • Will women be prosecuted for traveling to another state to seek an abortion?
  • Will health care providers be held liable for providing care that they consider necessary due to a medical emergency – but that violates Kemp’s abortion ban? Will they be prosecuted?
  • If a pregnancy is not viable, does a doctor have to wait for the patient to develop an infection instead of intervening before she gets sick? How much bleeding is enough bleeding to intervene? How sick is sick enough?
  • Can women who get an abortion be charged for murder? For example, if a woman takes prescribed medicine from an out-of-state doctor for a non-surgical abortion, has she now committed murder under Georgia law?

“The abortion ban will undoubtedly worsen maternal outcomes in Georgia, forcing doctors to turn away patients we know how to care for. Now, doctors are in impossible situations — situations where Kemp’s law directly violates the medical expertise we gained through years of training and the oath we took to care for our patients,” stated Dr. Nisha Verma, a Georgia OB/GYN who testified before congress this week on the impacts of taking away the constitutional right to an abortion. “As a provider of comprehensive reproductive health care, I know people are capable of making complex, thoughtful decisions about their health and lives — it’s indefensible that any politician would try to make those medical decisions for them”

“The 11th Circuit’s ruling which allowed Governor Brian Kemp’s dangerous abortion ban to take effect is an unprecedented attack on the rights of millions of women across our state. Personal medical decisions are no longer in the hands of patients and their doctors, but are instead dictated by politicians like Governor Kemp, who has sent our state back decades,” said Lauren Frazier, Director of Communications and Marketing, Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates. “And Kemp’s move to outlaw abortions will have an even harsher and more harmful impact on Black women, who are three to four times more likely to die during childbirth. While Brian Kemp puts his politics above our freedom and our lives, we will keep working day in and day out to help women access crucial and lifesaving reproductive health care.”

“This six-week ban on abortion is a draconian one that severely restricts privacy. It is the most restrictive abortion law this state has ever passed. Georgians are worried and they deserve answers. Millions of women, health care providers, reproductive care organizations, and others will be impacted by this law in ways that are unclear — Governor Kemp, the attorney general, and others who have championed this new restrictive law must help provide answers, because at the end of the day they share in the consequences of how this law gets enforced,” said Anthony Michael Kreis, a constitutional law professor in Georgia.

“With Governor Kemp’s abortion ban now in effect, his extreme anti-choice agenda is no longer a threat or a possibility, it’s our reality. I can tell you from years of experience that poor women, and women of color, will be disproportionately and detrimentally impacted — much more so than women who have the means to travel to other states and access reproductive services. There’s no question that under Kemp’s ban on abortion, the chance of women getting access to appropriate care is greatly reduced. This will undoubtedly cause mistakes to be made, and care to be denied,” shared Ruth F. Claiborne, a recently retired attorney who focused her practice on reproductive care and family building. “As someone who personally experienced an ectopic pregnancy, I know first-hand how crucial it is that women have immediate access to reproductive care services. This law raises real and immediate questions for women and doctors, and the lack of answers from Brian Kemp and the Republicans who supported this bill is very concerning.”

More on Brian Kemp’s extreme abortion ban:

  • Kemp bragged about signing the “toughest abortion bill in the country” in 2019, which bans abortion before most women even know they’re pregnant. Kemp’s law could allow prosecutors to file criminal charges against women who get abortions and even target women who miscarry.
  • Under Kemp’s agenda, victims of rape or incest could be forced to give birth. Kemp has repeatedly stated his staunch opposition to any exceptions for rape or incest in an abortion ban.
  • Health care professionals are warning that the governor’s new restrictions will “pile on challenges” for patients and providers in an already “tough system” to navigate.


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