For Immediate Release: Friday, March 26, 2021
Contact: [email protected]
SB 202—also known as “Jim Crow 2.0” — will have devastating consequences for voting in Georgia and disproportionately disenfranchise Black and brown voters
Georgia — Yesterday, anti-choice, anti-freedom Governor Brian Kemp signed into law SB 202, an extreme bill that harkens back to the Reconstruction era. SB 202, which was rushed through both chambers of the General Assembly, was designed to severely restrict voting in Georgia and disenfranchise Black and brown Georgians who already face the greatest barriers to the ballot box.
The bill signing—which took place behind closed doors—culminated with the outrageous arrest of reproductive freedom champion and Georgia state Rep. Park Cannon for knocking on the door to Kemp’s office. Cannon’s arrest and forcible removal from the Capitol is a direct affront to language in the Georgia state Constitution explicitly protecting lawmakers from arrest during sessions of the General Assembly.
NARAL Pro-Choice America State Campaigns Director Chrystian Woods issued the following statement:
“Yesterday’s events at the Capitol should ring the alarm bells for people in Georgia and across the country. The passage of SB 202 and subsequent arrest of state Rep. Cannon makes clear that Georgia’s sinister history of disenfranchising Black and brown voters in service of white supremacy is far from behind us. Gov. Kemp and the Republican lawmakers behind SB 202 are threatened by the political power of Black and brown voters, so they have resorted to thwarting democracy in a desperate attempt to cling on to control.
True freedom, including reproductive freedom, will remain out of reach unless Georgians have the ability to elect leaders who share their values. NARAL and our 54,000 members across Georgia are grateful to the Black-led organizations working tirelessly to combat racist ploys by Republican politicians to silence the voices of thousands of Georgia voters.”
SB 202 takes away local control of elections, dramatically restricts absentee voting, disenfranchises out-of-precinct voters, makes runoff electrons virtually impossible to administer, and makes offering food or water to voters waiting in hours-long lines a criminal offense. The bill is one of the “Big 3” pieces of omnibus anti-voting rights legislation that have been introduced in Georgia this year. These bills are a transparently partisan response to historic voter turnout in the 2020 presidential and 2021 U.S. Senate runoff elections, which saw a majority of Georgians turn out in support of Democratic President Joe Biden and U.S. Senators Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.