Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler is bragging that she's already sponsored four anti-abortion bills since taking office in January.
Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) is brand-new to the job, but she's already working to burnish her anti-abortion credentials by pushing a bill that would require mandatory counseling and waiting periods nationwide.
Loeffler took office in January 2020 after being appointed to the seat vacated by the retiring Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson by Georgia's anti-abortion governor, Brian Kemp.
At first, she didn't have the backing of anti-abortion groups such as the Susan B. Anthony List. Those groups tend to find any connection to pro-choice organizations, no matter how tenuous, disqualifying.
Loeffler is the co-owner of a WNBA team, and the WNBA has worked with Planned Parenthood in the past. She also sits on the board of Grady Memorial Hospital, which is affiliated with Emory University; Emory trains people to perform abortions.
Anti-abortion groups framed these relatively insubstantial links as "deep ties to the abortion industry" and didn't want to see Loeffler nominated to fill the seat. However, the influential head of Susan B. Anthony List, Marjorie Dannenfelser, has since said she changed her mind about Loeffler.
Loeffler courted anti-abortion activists by backing a bill in Georgia that would have functionally blocked abortions at the six-week mark. That law is currently blocked by a federal court order.
Now that she's in office, Loeffler wants to make sure she's known as an anti-abortion stalwart, given that Republican politicians often depend on the support of groups like Susan B. Anthony List, when she stands for election in November of this year. She recently boasted of her "pro-life focus" and that she's already sponsored four anti-abortion bills since taking office.
The bill she recently introduced would require what is termed "informed consent," but is really a 24-hour waiting period with mandatory "counseling" for anyone seeking an abortion.
NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia director Laura Simmons said in a statement, "Introducing [this bill] is a fitting next step in Senator Loeffler's initiation into the extreme anti-choice movement that she hopes will fire up a fringe base needed to deliver her an electoral victory."
Research shows that most people who decide they want an abortion are very sure of their choice, making counseling requirements unnecessary. Instead, counseling often forces doctors to provide incorrect information about the ostensible risks of abortion.
It can also drive up the cost of abortions when, as they would be under Loeffler's bill, doctors are required to provide the information personally rather than allowing a nurse or other health care professional to deliver it.
The mandatory waiting period could also result in abortions being delayed. Indeed, people seeking abortions in states with waiting periods often endure delays several times longer than the actual waiting period due to cost and logistical issues.
Laws such as these are designed to make abortions harder to obtain. Imposing them via a federal law would result in later and more costly abortions nationwide. It also imposes an anti-choice worldview on states in which a majority of people fully support abortion rights. Meanwhile, Loeffler will continue to court anti-abortion donors.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.