As my aunt, who lived to be 100-plus, used to say when she was tired of all the conversation about a topic, “Why so much a-talkin’?” The law about abortion is stirring up much talk, and I am now asking the same question my aunt used to ask. She was born in 1893 and had seen and heard much “talk.” She heard talk about black codes, anti-lynching laws, prohibition laws, women’s right to vote, civil rights and every right which had been discussed and debated for 100 years.

This discussion and debate about the “Heartbeat Bill” which passed both Georgia’s House and Senate and is more than likely to be signed by the governor is causing “so much a-talkin’.” This “so much a-talkin’” is being carried out as if the pro-lifers and those for women’s rights to decide are not aware that it really does not matter what law is on the books, if a female decides that she will not deliver, the choice is still hers to make. The only thing the law does is it takes away her right to make the decision under the protection of the law and in a safe environment with proper medical care. Women will still choose, not based on the law, just as women did for many years before the law and many years after the law.

As a pro-lifer, this talk is concerning to me because none of the people for the “Heartbeat Bill” are talking about what will be done to make sure all the babies will have health care. None of these people are talking about the fact that Georgia’s mortality rate for babies born to underprivileged mothers is the highest in the country and maybe in the world. This country’s mortality rate ranks us 30 out of 40 countries. If the concern is about life, my question is why are these same people willing to take away health care in the form of Medicare and Medicaid from these babies? Why are these same people who love the heartbeat of babies willing to cut the food stamps for SNAP and WIC? Mixed messages are being sent.

What truly is their concern? Those babies will still need help with keeping the heart beating after they enter this world. Will there be a follow-up bill calling for improved health care for mothers while carrying the babies and after they’re born?

What is being done about the number of premature babies being born in Georgia? It is a sad condition when Georgia’s death rate for babies is higher than even the poorest states, like my home state of South Carolina. In Georgia this year, over 5,000 babies will die after being born alive. Why? There are five reasons for that number being so high: birth defects, born too early, sudden infant death syndrome, pregnancy complications and injuries.

Please, let us bring these babies into this wonderful world and greet them with the best health care so their precious hearts will be in a healthy environment. Many ignorant people will say, “Well, they should not get pregnant.” What a wise and sensible statement for you of all people to make. It is not even worth trying to respond to. My pastor preached a sermon Sunday about Jesus as he was being taken to the cross. In the sermon, he said that Jesus did not answer Caiaphas when he was asked what blasphemous statement he had made. Jesus decided to just let the facts speak for themselves, and the pastor told us that some questions or even statements do not deserve a response. The statement above does not deserve a response. It will only dignify the individual’s ignorance.

Some years ago when I was working in the Social Service area, many times when I was seeking help for clients, ignorant people would say things like, ”Well, those people would not need help if they would stop spending their money on potato chips and Coca-Colas.” How callus and ignorant can one get? The supporters of this bill will fall into that category. They are inhumane enough to think that the bill will reduce the number of females who will get pregnant this year. They are thinking that the mortality rate will come down simply because a bill has been passed and is on the books. These supporters think that to put women in danger will curtail the number of females who will give birth this year. Well, sirs and madams, it will not. Regional hospitals, community health clinics and urgent care facilities will be negatively impacted financially. Does the speed limit law stop speeders? Does the “Do not drive while drunk” law stop people from driving while drunk? Does the divine law “Thy shall not kill” stop people from killing? Or stealing?

What will the law do? Force women into dark backrooms with unqualified people servicing them. The law will create more health and financial issues for us all.

Willie Mae Samuel is a playwright and a director in Rome.

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