ATLANTA - An unprecedented resolution allowing the city of Atlanta to donate $300,000 to a non-profit that provides financial and practical support for reproductive health for women passed 15-0 on Monday. The Atlanta City Council passed the resolution on the consent agenda unanimously and without any objection.
The money would go to the Access Reproductive Care-Southeast and would be distributed to allow for things such as rides to appointments, travel, and accommodations for women seeking abortions.
"Some of the legislation we see coming down from the states will predominantly impact people of color. Cost of living is at an all-time high, inflation rates are through the roof," said District 5 Council member Liliana Bakhtiari, who is the lead sponsor.
Atlanta's youngest council member said she started working on the measure when the preliminary Roe v. Wade Supreme Court brief was leaked weeks ago. She said the resolution is needed to ensure poor women have access to reproductive health, since Georgia's Heartbeat Bill has already taken effect.
"Some people will need help with abortions, other people will need help paying doctors' bills because it is very high risk to be pregnant. We are the second in the country for fetal mortality rates," she remarked.
The city charter allows the council to donate funds to non-profits for charitable funds.
Georgia Right to Life opposes the legislation and released the following statement:
"Abortion continues to be the gravest scourge of human rights abuse of innocent lives of our time. We urge the Mayor of Atlanta and the City Council to support efforts that protect unborn children and honor women. Using taxpayer dollars to fund the killing of innocent lives continues the injustice — which, by the way, has a sobering impact on the black population and beyond," Zemmie Fleck, Executive Director of Georgia Right to Life concluded.
"I would say that these times are unprecedented and drastic that calls for a change in action. Sitting on the sidelines doing nothing while people continue to die from lack of health care is to be complicit in those deaths," Ms. Bakhtaria.
The councilwoman is hopeful other cities will follow Atlanta's lead.