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?