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Georgia's New Abortion Law — Leading the Way or a Step Back in Time?

With the governor's signing of HB 954, Georgia became the seventh state since 2010 to sign a similar bill limiting abortions after 20 weeks. So is Georgia helping lead the way or is it a step back in time?

Tuesday Gov. Nathan Deal made it official, signing the controversial bill limiting abortions. The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Doug McKillip (R-Athens) bans most abortions after 20 weeks.

“Today, we are reaffirming Georgia’s commitment to preserving the sanctity of all human life,” Deal said in a news release. “This legislation provides humane protection to innocents capable of feeling pain, while making an important exception for in the case of medically futile pregnancies.”

According to an article in Athens Online, the law differs from the U.S. Supreme Court’s guidelines, which allows states to limit abortions when a fetus is considered capable of surviving outside the womb, generally considered to be about 23 or 24 weeks. McKillip’s bill is based on the fact that a fetus is considered able to feel pain at about 20 weeks. Not everybody agrees with this science though, including some doctors.

The version of House Bill 954 that Deal signed was modified to allow exceptions for medically futile pregnancies. Georgia is one of seven states to sign a similar version of this bill, originally introduced in Nebraska in 2010.

So what do think? Is Georgia’s adoption of the law an indication that the state is on the leading edge of the direction of the abortion issue — or is it a step back in time as opponents claim?

Karsten Torch July 26, 2012 at 07:00 PM
No, that's not the only way. The other way (and the one I prefer) is to make people responsible for themselves, to educate them that engaging in sex may just - I know this is going to be hard for some to believe - result in a pregnancy. Let's let parents be responsible for their children and expect them to tell their kids the hows and whys of the way this world works. When I was young, if a girl in high school wound up pregnant, she wasn't in that school the next day. It was frowned upon. Not the case anymore. Now they have shows about these kids, with teenagers all over the place thinking they could be on one of those shows if only they got pregnant. We've taken the stigma off being a single teen mom and celebrated it. "There's nothing wrong with it. We should do all we can to help these poor children, help them out, and maintain their self-esteem." I call BS. Self-esteem isn't something you should be given - it's something you earn. We've forgotten that.
Jeffrey Allen July 26, 2012 at 07:51 PM
I think this law is a step in the right direction. By show of hands, who thinks it should be legal to suck the brains out of a child that can feel pain? Anyone? No...? Okay then. I think it's reasonable enough to try to protect those most incapable of protecting themselves. While there are certainly gray areas such as medical futile cases and situations that endanger the health of the mother that deserve consideration, if we are strictly talking about abortion in matters of convienience, I say late term is a reasonable place to start. (Standing by to hear how much of a moron I am for taking the position that preventing abortions somehow prevents abortions....)
George Wilson July 26, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Rebecca, Well said!
George Wilson July 26, 2012 at 08:08 PM
Brian, We are in a race to see who gets to the bottom first.So far, we are gaining on Mississippi,Louisana,and Alabama and maybe even Texas..
Grant July 27, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Jeffy to the rescus with his own brand of hyperboyle! Jeff writes "By show of hands, who thinks it should be legal to suck the brains out of a child that can feel pain" Never mind that a host of medical experts testified that this was not the case and the legislature simply ignore the evidence presented in favor of their opinions. As we all know truth doesnt matter anymore> You're not a moron for wanting to prevent abortions Jeff, but you are if you believe this law will do anything of the sort

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