ACLU of Georgia

The Jolt: Abortion Foes Have No Claim to Civil Rights Legacy, Says Andrea Young

By Jim Galloway, Tamar Hallerman, and Greg Bluestein | Atlanta Journal-Constitution | July 23, 2019

The clock is about to start ticking on the court fight over Georgia’s new and restrictive anti-abortion law. The ACLU of Georgia today intends to file a request for a preliminary injunction to halt the law, which would require most women to carry to term after a few weeks into their pregnancies.
The request for an injunction follows on last month’s formal filing of the lawsuit in U.S. district court, on behalf of a women’s health collective, several abortion providers and three obstetrician/gynecologists. Andrea Young, the ACLU’s executive director, said she’s hoping for a hearing before a judge by October, if not sooner. The so-called “heartbeat” law goes into effect on Jan. 1.
“There’s so much publicity, it’s difficult to for people to be clear that the law is not currently in effect. That’s part of our sense of urgency about this. It’s certainly our goal that it never takes effect in the state of Georgia,” Young told us late Monday afternoon.
A press conference has been scheduled for noon today outside the Richard B. Russell Federal Building, on the MLK Drive side – i.e., in the shade.
But one more thing.
Before we finished, Andrea Young, the daughter of former Atlanta mayor, U.N. ambassador and civil rights leader Andrew Young, had a bone to pick with state Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, the author of House Bill 481.
Earlier this month, Setzler compared civil rights activists who oppose the anti-abortion measure to a white Southern aristocracy that perpetuated slavery.
“Sadly, civil rights groups who crush the rights of unborn children remind me of 18th century plantation owners who, after winning their freedom from Britain, enslaved people of color to achieve their own economic goals,” Setzler said.
Andrea Young is having none of that.
“I don’t know whether the thesaurus has a word for what this is. To watch someone like Ed Setzler sort of try to take up the mantle of abolition – I have ancestors who were slaves in Georgia, who fought segregation in Georgia,” she said.
“I’m deeply offended that he would take what is in effect my personal family history on these issues, and try to say that he has some moral authority. When other people control your body, it doesn’t end well,” she said.
ACLU-GA executive director Andrea Young speaking at Stop. The. Bans. press conference.

Andrea Young, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, speaks at a June press conference that followed the filing of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Georgia’s new anti-abortion “heartbeat” law.

Christina Matacotta/