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Abortion is still legal in Alabama and Georgia, despite new abortion bans


After a flurry of new legislation, women in Georgia and Alabama aren’t sure what’s still legal in their state
Abortion is still legally available in Alabama and Georgia, but after a flurry of new legislation and national attention, many women aren’t sure what’s still allowed in their state. Both states have passed stringent new laws that would ban virtually all abortions, but the laws have not yet taken effect.
As the focus of the news media moves to Missouri and Louisiana, which are next in line with similar bills, women in Georgia and Alabama have been left confused. Many have been flooding the phone lines of health care providers seeking answers.
At a call center in Atlanta, six Planned Parenthood employees field calls for patients in Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama. After Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law the state’s so-called «heartbeat bill,» an effective ban on abortions after six weeks into a pregnancy, there was an uptick in calls from women concerned the new legislation would impact their upcoming appointments. Calls skyrocketed into the hundreds as Alabama’s near-total abortion ban moved through the statehouse; it was signed into law this week.
«It’s been an influx like we’ve never seen before,» said Barbara Ann Luttrell, the director of communications for Planned Parenthood Southeast, in a telephone interview with CBS News on Thursday. «We’ve been completely inundated.»
The center has received an unprecedented number of calls from women concerned that their upcoming appointments would no longer be valid, Luttrell said. Victim of rapes and domestic violence in Alabama have called in concerned that they no longer had a choice of whether or not to terminate their pregnancies, she said.
The calls have gotten to the point that the Atlanta-based helpline couldn’t handle them on their own, said Luttrell. For the first time ever, they’ve set up an automated message for women with questions about the new laws in Georgia, reassuring them that abortion is still legal.

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