Georgia Lawmakers At Odds Over Amended Abortion Bill

Right now, it’s not clear what will happen to a fetal pain bill that currently has law makers at an impasse.

HB-954would ban abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.

But the Senate added an amendment, to allow abortions when doctors diagnose serious conditions which give the unborn little or no chance of survival.

WABE’sRose Scott reports proponents of the bill are hopeful it still has a chance to pass.

Pro-life advocate Dan Becker is unwavering when he talks about the importance of the bill, “a fetus can feel pain and we should be talking about the rights of the fetus equally to the rights of the mother, as long as we do so equally and in a balance way, we’re okay” says the president of Georgia Right To Life.

The organization supports the original house version of the bill.

But Becker finds the senate’s amendment to include a medical futile clause troubling.

Becker refers to that as a eugenic policy if a medically futile diagnosis is left up to one doctor, “not all medically futile pregnancies that are quote diagnosis incompatible with life are in fact so those are misdiagnosis and nine percent of the cases on ultrasound being read wrong.”

The incompatible to life phrasing is part of the language that drastically changed the bill from its original house version.

Georgia lawmakers have wrestled over abortion legislation since 1989.

That’s when a 1989 Supreme Court case let stand a Missouri statute stating that human life begins at conception,” and that “unborn children have protectable interests in life, health, and well-being.”

This allowed states to pass tighter and tighter restrictions on abortions.

Dan Becker is remaining optimistic lawmakers will take that into consideration.

Thursday is the final day of the legislative session and Becker’s been down this road before,” we have been the veteran of many of these sessions and it sometimes comes down to the wee hours of the morning, I have every hope that the senate is in fact pro-life and will accept the house position.”

Earlier WABE aired this story citing a 1989 Supreme Court Ruling regarding abortion laws.

While the reference is correct, an interpretation of the ruling was incorrectly cited.

WABE regrets the error and a clearer explanation is included in the above news report.