Champ and Chump: Two sides of the fight over a 20-week Abortion Ban

Posted on April 7, 2012

Women Are Watching, April 7, 2012 by Heather H.

This week’s champ is someone who truly knows what’s at stake for women as legislators continue to push new anti-women’s health legislation in states across the country. That’s why, when Danielle Deaver heard that the states of Arizona and Georgia were coming closer and closer to passing an extreme form of a “20-week ban” that would restrict women’s access to abortion care, she didn’t stay silent — Danielle spoke out. Having experienced what can happen when politicians think they know better than women and their doctors, she penned a letter to Governor Jan Brewer and Georgia Governor Nathan Deal, detailing her experience with such extreme and sweeping legislation.

When she experienced complications in her pregnancy at 22 weeks, she was denied the care she needed in a time when she needed it the most. In her own words, “[T]hough an infection was growing inside me, under the law I wasn’t sick enough to warrant the induction my husband and I wanted….” So, what should have been a personal and private decision between Danielle, her family, and her doctors, was decided for her by Nebraska politicians.

As Danielle wrote to Governor Brewer and Governor Deal: “This is not about politics, it’s about leaving the practice of medicine up to doctors and most importantly, it’s about trusting women to make the best decisions for themselves and their families…. Please right the wrong that Nebraska did to me and stop Arizona House Bill 2036 and and Georgia House Bill 954. I want my daughter’s life — and the tragic circumstances surrounding her death — to stand for something.”

For speaking out and standing up for women, Danielle truly is a champ among champs. Read Danielle’s full letter and add your name to her letter to Governors Brewer and Deal.

Before the Georgia bill made its way to Governor Deal’s desk, it needed a sponsor in the legislature. And this week’s Chump, Doug McKillip, is the guy who made that happen.

There are anti-choice legislators who have never been with us on women’s health and that’s one thing — what Doug McKillip did was in a whole other category of betraying women.

Representative McKillip received the endorsement of Georginas for Choice in 2006 as a pro-choice Democrat. His questionnaire included support for Roe v. Wade, emergency contraception, and funding for family planning for low-income women. Perhaps most tellingly, he indicated that he would oppose “legislation that substitutes the General Assembly’s judgement for the physician’s.” (You can read the full questionnaire HERE.)

Running unopposed in 2010, he switched parties within weeks, and for some inexplicable reason, he had also completely switched positions on women’s health. But he didn’t just switch positions — he has been the lead sponsor of the 20-week abortion ban that is now waiting for Governor Deal to sign or to veto.

For switching positions and then heading up efforts to pass one of the most restrictive bans in the country, Doug McKillip is this week’s Chump.

Posted in: Arizona, Georgia, Nebraska