Critics: Bills could block access to birth control -, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Critics: Bills could block access to birth control


Religious freedom and women's reproductive rights are on a collision course at the state Capitol.

House Bill 1023 and Senate Bill 377, both entitled "Preservation of Religious Freedom Act," would protect people of faith against governmental intrusions.

Women's groups, however, contend the bills would allow doctors, healthcare providers and pharmacies to cite religious beliefs to deny women access to birth control.

"I believe they are dangerous, they have horrible consequences," said Brittany Bromfield, a graduate student at Georgia State University.

Bromfield was one of about 100 protestors who rallied outside the state Capitol against the bills.

"It's not up to the pharmacist or politicians to tell her not to get those birth control pills," Bromfield said.

Opponents have blasted the House version of the bill, saying it would cause business owners to cite religious beliefs to discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.

State Sen. Josh McKoon, who is sponsoring the Senate bill, said he's just trying to protect Georgians from what he says are intrusions by the federal government.

"My bill provides for a mechanism to protect religious liberty interests of Georgians of all faiths," McKoon said.

When asked if his legislation would attack women's reproductive rights, McKoon answered, "Absolutely not, what it does is it protects religious liberty interests of all Georgians of any member of our society."

Senate lawmakers could vote on the bill on Wednesday.

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