Georgia Republicans Resuscitate Abortion Bill
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, HB954, appeared to be derailed after the Senate “practically gutted” the bill on Monday.
But, like the zombies in The Night of the Living Dead, the bill came back to life and “passed with just minutes remaining in the 2012 session.” Moreover, Senate leadership called for a vote after allowing only five minutes for debate.
As originally written by its sponsor, state Rep. Doug McKillip, R-Athens, the proposal would have cut by about six weeks the time women in Georgia may have an elective abortion. The Senate’s changes forced into the bill an exemption for “medically futile” pregnancies, giving doctors the option to perform an abortion past 20 weeks when a fetus has congenital or chromosomal defects.
Although the House — including McKillip and House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge — initially balked, they agreed Thursday to move forward with a compromise. It was to include a definition in the bill describing what “medically futile” means: Profound and “irremediable” anomalies that would be “incompatible with sustaining life after birth.”
Georgia Right To Life dubbed the Senate changes “selective euthanasia.”
According to Georgia Public Broadcasting, at least some Senators did not take passage of this bill, authored by and led by two men, quietly:
Vowing to take their case to the polls, chanting, “Women will remember in November,” a line of women Senators walked out of both the House and Senate wrapped in police tape after the abortion bill passed both chambers.
See the best photos of the protest
The bill now goes to Republican Governor Nathan Deal for his signature, and the Senators and Representatives head back home to campaign. All of them are up for re-election.
According to the National Review, similar laws have been passed in Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma, all part of a national push to limit women’s access to abortion.