Georgia governor signs law restricting late-term abortions
Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law a piece of legislation today to restrict late-term abortions and outlaw assisted suicide in the state.
The law bans most abortions after 20 weeks’ pregnancy.
This makes Georgia the eighth U.S. state to outlaw most late-term abortions based on research that says a fetus can feel pain by that stage of development.
Governor Deal said in a statement, “This legislation provides humane protection to innocents capable of feeling pain, while making an important exception for in the case of medically-futile pregnancies.”
Georgia Right to Life President Dan Becker today expressed thanks to Governor Nathan Deal for signing a law that protects preborn children capable of feeling pain.
“I am deeply grateful that Governor Deal has demonstrated his commitment to protecting the preborn,” Becker said, “by signing this measure, at least 1,500 babies a year will no longer be killed.” Georgia already prohibits most abortions starting in the third trimester.
The new law, HB 954 sponsored by Rep. Doug McKillip will take effect on January 1, 2013.
It shows that Georgia has a “compelling state interest in protecting the lives of unborn children from the stage at which they are capable of feeling pain.”
That stage is now set at 20 weeks after gestation, which means no abortions can be performed after that, except in cases where it’s necessary to save the life of the mother, or to end a “medically futile” pregnancy.
“While this new law represents significant progress in saving lives, a last-minute amendment that allows doctors to end so-called futile pregnancies is a first step to establishing a eugenic policy in Georgia,” Becker said, “It opens the door to destroying babies doctors think may be less than perfect.”
In addition to the late abortion ban, Governor Deal also signed a piece of legislation making assisted suicide a felony in Georgia.
The bill, HB 1114 sponsored by Rep. Ed Setzler, was passed in response to last February’s decision by the Georgia Supreme Court that struck down the state’s previous weak and ineffective law.