It was one of the most controversial bills to hit the floor this past legislative session.
Today Governor Nathan Deal signed into law a ban on abortions beyond 20 weeks of pregnancy.
It’s “a positive step for Georgia; it preserves the dignity of human life and promotes its sanctity,” says the governor’s spokesperson Brian Robinson.
Robinson went on to say “it’s a humane action.”
Initially the core of the bill dealt with whether or not a fetus experiences pain at 20 weeks.
Lawmakers brought in doctors for medical opinions regarding fetal pain.
Robinson says Governor Deal wanted to make sure the new law did protect women with high-risk pregnancies especially those considered medically futile.
“Certainly the governor didn’t want or no one wanted a pregnant woman whose pregnancy was considered medically futile to be forced to carry the pregnancy to term.”
But opponents say the law intrudes on doctors and their patients.
Leola Reis is with Planned Parenthood Southeast.
“This is now interfering with how a physician can practice medicine in the best interest of his or her client, women don’t ask their legislators for healthcare information, they trust their doctors,” says Reis.
Nancy Booth is the executive director of the Feminist Women’s Health Center:
She says the law doesn’t take in consideration that abused young girls come to Georgia for an abortion because there are no services in their state.
Booth adds many won’t know their pregnant until after 20 weeks,
“We’ve seen girls as young as 11 and 12 and it’s always a case of incest and abuse and molestation,” says Booth.
Booth calls the law unconstitutional.
Deal spokesperson Brian Robinson, counters and says the new law is constitutional.
He says the state is willing to fight any legal opposition.
The law goes into effect January 1st.