Georgia Brings Back 20 Week Ban With “Compromise”

Posted on March 30, 2012

RH Reality Check, March 30, 2012 by Robin Marty

The Republicans in the Georgia legislature managed to find a “compromise” that would allow them to finally pass a 20 week ban on abortions.  The Senate proposal to exclude “medically futile” pregnancies was accepted by the House and voted through, effectively banning abortion after 20 weeks for any fetus except those with “profound and ‘irremediable’ anomalies that would be ‘incompatible with sustaining life after birth.'”

With the new law in place, any abortion performed after 20 weeks must be “be done in a way to bring the fetus out alive.” In other words, an abortion would likely be performed by inducing labor in order to attempt to have a live birth of a fetus, despite the fetus having physical anomalies that render it non-viable after birth, and even when the abortion is being performed prior to viability (usually about 24 weeks due to lung development).

No wonder the proposed law actually resulted in fistfights in the lobby. According to the Atlanta Examiner:

Georgia’s Right to Life (GRTL) President Dan Becker and the Perinatal Infertility Coalition of Georgia “had a heated verbal exchange that became physical.” A nearby trooper saved the day, effectively getting both men to cease and desist without force.

And it wasn’t just the lobbyists getting fired up.  Senate Democrats, especially women, opposed the bill in their own way.  The Atlanta Journal Constitution wrote:

Senate Democratic women for the second time this session walked out after HB 954 passed their chamber. Sporting yellow police tape, they marched into the hallways and, joined with other HB 954 opponents, shouted “we will remember!” loud enough to be heard through closed doors. “The GOP war on women is alive and well in Georgia,” said Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta. Within the hour, the bill passed the House on a 106-59 vote. Democrats turned their backs on McKillip in protest.

The bill will now head to Gov. Nathan Deal’s desk for a signature before becoming law.

Posted in: Georgia