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/christina.matacotta@ajc.com

The Jolt: Abortion foes have no claim to civil rights legacy, says Andrea Young

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.

Click here to read more details from our AJC colleague Maya Prabhu. Click here to read the paperwork. 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.

>> Related: AJC poll: Strong support for Roe; opinion closer on ‘heartbeat bill’

>> Related: ‘Heartbeat’ law makes abortion a top issue for Georgia in 2020

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The city council of Charlotte, which will host next year’s Republican National Convention, on Monday passed a resolution on a 9-2 vote, condemning President Donald Trump’s “racist and xenophobic comments.” From the Washington Post:

James Mitchell Jr., one of the council members who supported the resolution, said the move was intended to send a message to the White House: “We may not be able to control what you say, but we’re going to tell you how we feel about it in Charlotte, North Carolina.”

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Last night, some of you out there may have received a friend request via Facebook from someone claiming to be Mac Collins. Please be aware that the former Georgia congressman passed away last November.

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Reuters reports that the Trump administration today will propose a rule to tighten food stamp restrictions. About 3.1 million people would be from the program. From the wire service:

Currently, 43 states allow residents to automatically become eligible for food stamps through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, known as SNAP, if they receive benefits from another federal program known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, according to the USDA.

But the agency wants to require people who receive TANF benefits to pass a review of their income and assets to determine whether they are eligible for free food from SNAP, officials said.

“Some states are taking advantage of loopholes that allow people to receive the SNAP benefits who would otherwise not qualify and for which they are not entitled,” USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters on a conference call on Monday.

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On Monday, the White House and congressional Democrats struck a two-year budget agreement yesterday that would raise federal spending limits by $320 billion and suspend the debt limit until August 2021. Unsurprisingly, President Trump and House and Senate leaders quickly announced their support. Also endorsing the deal, somewhat surprisingly, was U.S. Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga.

The Republican, up for re-election next year, has built an image as a debt hawk who has largely voted against large spending agreements like this one (he's made some exceptions for deals struck by the Trump administration, with which he’s allied) in protest of Washington's broken budget process.

At the same time, as he’s geared up for next year’s campaign, Perdue has also warned about the debilitating effects of stopgap spending bills on the Pentagon. 

“In a compromise, neither side gets 100 percent of what they want. The bottom line is with just 15 working days until the end of the fiscal year on September 30, Congress cannot afford to waste any more time," Perdue said in a statement last night. 

Some of the fiscally conservative groups that have generally aligned with Perdue on fiscal matters, such as FreedomWorks, panned the deal as fiscally irresponsible. 

"With this ‘deal,’ GOP ‘leadership’ has ceded its ground on fiscal responsibility, which for years was supposed to be a core tenet of the party," said Adam Brandon, the group's president. 

***

Speaking of David Perdue, former Sixth District congressional candidate Jon Ossoff sent a fundraising plea to his supporters to raise cash for Democrat Sara Gideon’s bid to oust U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “The Senate is key!” he wrote to his backers. Ossoff is now considering a Senate campaign of his own to challenge Perdue in Georgia.

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Republican Philip Singleton has been endorsed by Georgia Right to Life in the four-candidate special election to fill out the term of state Rep. David Stover, R-Newnan, who exited the position earlier this summer.

Singleton is among three Republican candidates in the House District 71 contest. The GRTL endorsement has meaning. The group opposed HB 481, the anti-abortion “heartbeat” bill signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp in May, because the legislation didn’t go far enough. GRTL doesn’t recognize exceptions in cases of rape or incest.

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Former Stacey Abrams strategist Ernie Britt landed a job on the grassroots team of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s presidential campaign. Britt worked for Abrams’ gubernatorial bid for two years as a digital specialist and later was a consultant for Fair Fight Action.

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