03 May 2010

Ms. Foundation Grantees Defeat Georgia's Frightening "Race and Sex Selection" Bill

Thanks to the tireless advocacy of Ms. Foundation grantees SPARK Reproductive Justice Now! and SisterSong, Georgia’s S.B. 529 [which we wrote about in March] -- the “Race and Sex Selection” Bill -- is DEAD! That’s right, finito, finished, kaput. Congratulations are seriously in order!

S.B. 529 -- based on the outrageously flawed premise that abortion providers “solicit” African American women for eugenics-like race and sex selection -- would’ve created yet another barrier to reproductive choice for women of color and criminalized providers serving African American communities. It wasn’t just extraordinarily misleading, but sexist, racist and paternalistic; if passed it would’ve set an incredibly dangerous precedent. Needless to say, all champions of reproductive rights, health and justice should rejoice in its defeat.

SPARK and SisterSong -- grassroots reproductive justice organizations led by women of color in Georgia -- deserve much of the accolades. For more than three months, they worked together (along with another coalition partner, SisterLove, Inc.) to vigorously lobby legislators and mobilize quickly and effectively on the ground -- exposing the frightening nature of the bill and gaining widespread public support for their position. As SPARK writes, “We were not silent, we were not invisible, and we refused to let them advance sexist, racist, anti-choice legislation in our name!” Because of this determination and passion the bill never even made it to a vote.

Congratulations again to SPARK, SisterSong, other coalition partners and allies, and any of you who added your voice to defeat this bill!

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