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Atlanta Council votes for Reproductive Justice Commission

State Capitol/Atlanta City Hall (Photo by Kelly Jordan)

By Maggie Lee

Atlanta City Council on Monday passed a resolution that says access to sexual and reproductive health care, including abortion, is a human right. They voted to create a commission to try and help make that health care access a reality in Atlanta.

The idea is to figure out how the city can be as supportive of access to reproductive justice as possible, said eastside District 2 Atlanta City Councilmember Amir Farokhi, just after the unanimous vote to create a city Reproductive Justice Commission.

Atlanta’s Commission is to address much more than abortion. It’ll ask in general, what may be standing between Atlantans and equitable access to all kinds of reproductive and sexual health care, like medications or birth control.

Just as an example, Farokhi said the commission could investigate whether zoning laws are amenable to reproductive or maternal health care centers, or whether transit routes reach such centers.

But his legislation is also partially a reaction to what’s happening just across the street from Atlanta City Hall at the Georgia state Capitol.

This year, with only GOP support, the Georgia Legislature passed a near-total ban on abortions more than six weeks after conception. (That new law is held up in court right now. In the meantime, Georgia’s existing law stands, that abortion is legal up to 20 weeks after conception.)

The city’s Reproductive Justice Commission would take its recommendations to Atlanta City Council and would end after three years.

The legislation now goes to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for her review.  If approved, the commission could start work within just a few months, the time it would take for the mayor and councilmembers to nominate members and for the Council confirmation process.

Maggie Lee

Maggie Lee is a freelance reporter who's been covering Georgia and metro Atlanta government and politics since 2008.


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