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East Cobb Speaks: Abortion Bill

What do you think about the newly passed legislation banning most abortions after 20 weeks?

The Georgia General Assembly passed a "fetal pain" abortion bill in the final hour of the 2012 legislative session Thursday night.

If signed by Gov. Nathan Deal as expected, H.B. 954 would ban abortion after 20 weeks, the midpoint of pregnancy, except in "medically futile" cases or when the mother risks death or irreversible physical damage.

The bill defines "medically futile" as a birth defect "that is incompatible with life"—essentially, a woman won't be forced to carry to term a fetus doctors think can't survive.

There are no exceptions for rape or incest.

The measure moves the cutoff for abortions back from 26 weeks because, it says, a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks.

The House voted 106-59 with about 40 minutes left in the 40-day legislative session to accept the revised, compromise version of the bill, which isn't as strict as the version the House passed Feb. 29. The Senate approved the compromise on a 36-19 vote.

What do you think of the abortion bill? Vote in our poll and tell us in the comments below.

The bill looked doomed after the Senate inserted the "medically futile" exception this week, but the bill's author, Rep. Doug McKillip (R-Athens), accepted the change when he was able to insert the definition of "medically futile," The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Still, some female senators wrapped themselves in yellow caution tape and walked out in protest, and Democratic representatives turned their backs on McKillip, the AJC said.

The Cobb legislative delegation broke along party lines on the final version of the bill with one exception: Republican Don Parsons of Northeast Cobb voted no, according to the roll call.

Also voting no were Democratic Sens. Doug Stoner and Steve Thompson and Reps. Sheila Jones, David Wilkerson, Alisha Thomas Morgan and Stacey Evans.

The measure had the support of Republican Sens. Chip Rogers, Judson Hill and Lindsey Tippens and Reps. John Carson, Sharon Cooper, Judy Manning, Matt Dollar, Ed Setzler, Rich Golick, Earl Ehrhart and Sam Teasley. .

East Cobb Expat March 30, 2012 at 12:06 PM
That women can vote 'for' as it seems they have along their party lines, to support a bill with no exception for incest or rape and the mother's psychological or physical well being is beyond comprehension to me - a person currently sitting outside the US and Georgia political system. As we are moving to the US for a period later this year I will watch with interest this and other items. Being from Australia but having spent the last nine years in Hong Kong and South Africa both incredibly interesting political environments I am looking forward to learning more about US politics in general. Exciting to be moving in an election year.
Cate Williams March 30, 2012 at 12:33 PM
Under this legislation the woman has 20 weeks to make this choice. If they are raped it will not take them 20 weeks to decide to abort. I believe in only very early abortion. Woman should be reeponsble and timely and not want to cause their child horrific pain by waiting over 20 weeks. Remember the baby's body is formed by then. Heart beating. Finger nails. Come on ladies 20 weeks is plenty of time. Only exception will be catastrophic health issues that is certainly acceptable.
Michael Jacobs March 30, 2012 at 01:09 PM
Hi, Nikki: There is an exception for the mother's physical well-being, although the physical danger has to be life-threatening or permanently disabling.
M lind March 31, 2012 at 03:00 PM
The government, especially the men, should have nothing to do with the choices a woman makes about her body. It is an extremely personal decision that should new between a woman and her god and no one else. Doctors should not be punished for taking care of their patients.

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