Debate on the abortion bill puts the spotlight on suburban Republicans


We were warned to wait a long and lively afternoon debate in the United States Senate on Bill 481, the anti-abortion "heartbeat" bill, which is currently being enacted in several red states, particularly in South.

This morning, lawmakers are already talking about the increased presence of police on the ground.

The adoption of the measure, which would essentially ban all abortions after six weeks, is expected. HB 481 has the support of Governor Brian Kemp, who has promised voters the country's toughest anti-abortion law in his campaign.

However, we are told that many Republican senators, particularly those in the suburbs of Atlanta, are concerned about the consequences of the law for 2020.

HB 481, drafted by State Representative Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, was passed in the House two weeks ago by a vote of 93 to 73, in which 11 members of the House asked to be exempted from voting or simply did not vote. Eight were Republicans.

With a strong Democratic opposition expected, the 35-member Republican caucus in the Senate can afford to lose only a handful of voices.

One of them is already pending: Kay Kirkpatrick, a doctor from East Cobb, attends a funeral on Friday and is not expected to vote on Capitol Hill. In fact, some Democrats suspect that his lawful excuse is one of the reasons the vote is scheduled today: the protection of one of the two Republican women in the House.

The other member of the Republican Women's Caucus in the Senate, Renee Unterman of Buford, bears the bill. She plans to consider a bid for the seat of the Seventh District Congress in 2020 by Rob Woodall.

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Three other suburban Republicans could also be in difficult places. John Albers of Roswell and P.K. Martin of Lawrenceville are both fast-moving districts in North Atlanta and are likely to face stiff Democratic competition in 2020.

And Brandon Beach, an Alpharetta executive running for next year's convention, also has a choice: vote for the bill and give US representative Lucy McBath, D-Marietta, an opening to attack, or vote against and risk conservative low in a likely GOP primary against former Congressman Karen Handel.

Another trio is also worth seeing. We learn that Bainbridge's Dean Burke, Athens' Bill Cowsert and Danielsville's Frank Ginn are in dispute over the measure.


Unlike a series of fights the Capitol state Regarding legislation on "religious freedom", Georgia's business interests remain outside the debate on HB 481, despite the encouragement of Democrat Stacey Abrams.


An aspect of the debate on abortion is a race to get a state law in front of a changing American Supreme Court. On Thursday, Governor Phil Bryant signed a version for Mississippi Bill "Heartbeat". From the Associated Press:

Bryant's action came despite the decision of a federal judge last year that invalidated a less restrictive law limiting abortions in the state. The New York – based Center for Reproductive Rights described the new measure as "cruel and patently unconstitutional" and announced that it would sue the Mississippi for justice to try to prevent it from happening. entry into force of the law on 1 July.

The law signed Thursday by Bryant states that a doctor who practices an abortion after the detection of a fetal heartbeat is subject to revocation of his Mississippi medical license. It also states that abortion may be allowed after the discovery of a fetal heart rate if a pregnancy endangers a woman's life or one of her major bodily functions. Both the House and the Senate have rejected efforts to allow exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.

The Georgia version would allow abortions to last longer than six weeks for rape and incest, but would require official police reports to be filed when these crimes are alleged.

Tennessee is another state considering a "Heartbeat" bill. The Kentucky version was immediately challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union when Republican Governor Matt Bevin signed it on March 14. A federal judge temporarily blocked her.


We told you earlier about the upcoming visit to Atlanta of Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris. We know more now. The California Senator plans to speak Sunday morning at Ebenezer Baptist Church. Then she will go to the Forbes Arena at Morehouse College for a rally. Details can be obtained here.


Thursday, anonymous word Former Vice President Joe Biden, who has not yet officially participated in the 2020 presidential battle, was considering considering former Democratic governor candidate Stacey Abrams as a vice-presidential candidate. A reaction:

– Former Vermont Governor and DNC, Howard Dean, was invited to respond by Julie Mason in "The Press Pool" on SiriusXM's POTUS channel. Dean said:

"I think it's brilliant. Because Biden is the news of yesterday, as well as Bernie to a certain extent. The greatest vulnerability of Biden and Bernie, despite their numbers, is that they have existed for a long time and that people really want something new ….

"Biden would electrify voters if he chose someone like Stacey Abrams. The question is whether Stacey Abrams would want to do it. We can not have two whites on our ticket anymore. Our base is composed of under 35, women and people of color. "

– And it came from Connie Schultz, wife of US Senator Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, via Twitter:

Do not promote this strategy, but give up any discussion about the gadget or Biden "using" Stacey Abrams. Such framing lack of respect. If ever there was a person in charge of his own life, that is Stacey Abrams.


Your forgotten day document is a letter sent on March 5 to members of the Senate of Georgia by the Georgia Municipal Association, opposed to SB 131, the measure to authorize the takeover by the state of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport . The council was ignored, perhaps because the letter is addressed to a Democrat, Horacena Tate of Atlanta. The Senate passed the bill two days later.

Nevertheless, the question is likely to arise again, as it is now part of HB 447, a measure for Delta Air Lines that would actually increase the state fuel tax on aviation. Click here to download your copy. From the letter GMA:

… If the state wanted to assume itself the property and the airport obligations of the city of Atlanta, it should treat such an act as a conviction, repay existing obligations and compensate the city for the existing value of the infrastructure and goods of the airport. Under the 2017 Tax and Employment Benefits Act, income from these refunds would not be exempt from tax and would therefore be paid at a lower interest rate. . Instead, they would be taxable and repayable bonds at a higher interest rate. This is not a good deal for Atlanta or the state of Georgia.

… As stated in the memorandum to Governor Nathan Deal by Diana Pope, Director of the Financing and Investment Division of the Georgia Financing and Investment Commission, dated January 24, 2018, "It is very likely that the addition of an airport control layer will emit a negative perception that could have a negative impact on credit ratings because of the potential disruption of services and of the uncertainty of its impact on existing and future trading relationships.

This uncertainty and negative perception would most likely affect Georgia's cities and counties, as potential buyers of their bonds should consider whether the state could decide to appropriate assets purchased or constructed with the bond product.


Spread the vote, a non-profit organization that helps people obtain IDs to be able to vote, has hired a veteran of the Democratic Party of Georgia as a state director. Alaina Reaves will help the group expand its presence beyond its nine locals in Georgia. Reaves previously worked as a senior aide to Carolyn Hugley, D-Columbus, Georgia House minority whip, and as a field organizer for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

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