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LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 22: Busy Philipps presents the Voice of Style award onstage during the 2018 InStyle Awards at The Getty Center on October 22, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for InStyle)

'Genuinely scared'

Busy Philipps speaks about her abortion in wake of Georgia law that could see women charged with murder

By WITW Staff on May 9, 2019

The TV host and actor Busy Philipps has condemned Georgia’s six-week abortion ban, signed into law on Tuesday, on her talk show Busy Tonight, revealing that she had terminated a pregnancy at age 15.

“I had an abortion when I was 15 years old, and I’m telling you this because I am genuinely really scared for women and girls all over this country,” she said. “And I think that we all need to be talking more and sharing our stories more.”

Republican Governor Brian Kemp signed a so-called “fetal heartbeat” bill on Tuesday that not only bans abortion after six weeks, but further allows women who obtain abortions to be prosecuted for murder — a crime punishable in Georgia by life imprisonment or the death penalty.

Since the election of Donald Trump, at least 11 conservative states have introduced so-called heartbeat bills that appear to blatantly violate the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade barring states from unduly limiting women’s access to abortion. But Georgia lawmakers opted to go even further in their version of the bill by including language requiring the state to “recognize unborn children as natural persons” and awarding “unborn children … full legal recognition” under the law. If Georgia’s heartbeat bill is allowed to stand, in other words, women who undergo abortions would be guilty of murdering a legal Georgia resident — and accordingly vulnerable to prosecution. Similarly, women who miscarry due to consequences of their own conduct — such as drug use — would be liable for charges of second-degree murder.

The decision to treat fetuses and embryos as legal persons comes with a host of other potential consequences. Once the bill takes effect on Jan 1. 2020, Georgia appellate attorney Andrew Fleischman has cautioned, the state would also technically be guilty of holding thousands of citizens in jail without bond due to the high number of pregnant women in the state’s prison system.

“Most of the men writing these bills don’t know the first thing about a woman’s body outside of the things they want from it. It’s relatively common for a woman to have a late period + not be pregnant,” tweeted Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, calling it a “backdoor ban,” and drawing the most ‘likes’ ever for one of her Twitter posts.

Hillary Rodham Clinton also weighed in, posting that “six-week abortion bans are effectively total bans on abortion, as many women don’t know they are pregnant at six weeks.”

“No bill that criminalizes abortion will stop anyone from making this incredibly personal choice, but these laws will put more women at risk,” Philipps told her audience. “Every woman deserves compassion and care, not judgment and interference when it comes to their own bodies.”

Read the full story at Slate.

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