Students protest Georgia’s Heartbeat Bill
May 13, 2019
In response to the recent six week abortion ban signed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp last Tuesday, Decatur High School juniors Liza Watson and Isabel Staton have organized a protest to oppose the bill.
“I decided to create this protest because I was tired of not knowing how to be involved,” Watson said. “This protest was something reasonable to organize within the community and a good way for people in Decatur to actually be involved, instead of remaining in a little bubble.”
Watson and Staton, along with others, plan on marching from the Decatur courthouse to Agnes Scott at 4:30 this afternoon.
“Right after school,” Watson said, “a small group of us are drawing posters in the cafeteria to make sure people have something to share with if they feel uncomfortable speaking.”
From there, Watson will give a few words at the square in front of the courthouse, march all the way to Agnes Scott and canvas for a petition she and other organizers have written.
“[Decatur is] a very liberal community, yet we watch the rest of the world through our own lens,” Watson said. “I hope with this protest that I motivate all people of all walks of life to truly fight for what they believe in and use that unique privilege, because with motivation and drive, people can make drastic change.”
The bill is one of the most restrictive abortion laws to date, according to The New York Times, and makes it illegal for a woman to get an abortion after a heartbeat is detected– typically around six weeks pregnant, and before many women even know they’re pregnant as six weeks into pregnancy is equivalent to being two weeks late on a period. Under the proposal, a woman who has become pregnant after an incident of rape or incest would have to file a police report in order to have an abortion performed.
“Since [the signing of the Heartbeat Bill] was something that actually happened in my own state, I felt like I really needed to get involved and try to make a difference now,” Staton said, “so that in the future, everyone will have the same rights.”
Staton hopes that this protest inspires fellow students and community members to join together and take political and social action against the bill.
“For Decatur, I want this protest to show other young, especially female students, that there are people who care about their rights,” Staton said. “It’s not just on the internet that people are upset, it’s real life.”
Click on the link below to view the petition.
Photos by Zidia Gibson