Georgia Right-To-Life Strongarms On 20-Week Ban While OB Calls Bill “Heartless”


Debate continues in Georgia over a proposed 20-week abortion ban pushed by anti-choice advocates based on the erroneous claim that a fetus can feel pain at that point in its development.  But Georgia Right-to-Life, a key supporter of the bill, is getting concerned that some of the votes they need for passage may be slipping away.

And they aren’t going to let that happen.

Via the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

Dan Becker, the president of Georgia Right to Life, is facing off with state House Republicans whom he believes might waver on supporting a bill that would cut the time for elective abortions and tighten medical exemptions for treating pregnant women. His confrontation with Rep. Sharon Cooper, R-Marietta, who has anti-abortion credentials, left her flustered and complaining near noon Wednesday. Cooper said Becker threatened her political career.

Threats are apparently necessary in order to keep Republican votes in line.  The bill is being panned by numerous doctors who worry that they will not be able to perform life-saving procedures on women with medical complications due to a rule stating that a fetus “must be delivered in a way that tries to keep it alive.” 

One anonymous OBGYN who specializes in later terminations calls it heartless to not allow women to abort “medically futile pregnancies.”

As a prominent Atlanta obstetrician told me this week, consider a woman who at 20 weeks discovers that her fetus suffers from anencephaly, which means it’s missing part of its head. The goal of his practice is to see high-risk pregnancies through to a healthy, successful live birth, but sometimes that just isn’t possible.

“The fetus has no skull,” he explained. “I don’t think many of us walk around without a skull. It is not going to survive no matter what you do. We tell the mother what we found, and we let her go through full counseling, grief counseling. And at the end of that, we give her the option of carrying that pregnancy or not.”

Under HB 954, that option would no longer be available.

That fetus will be carried to full term, under the false excuse of sparing it pain, and the result will be a baby “condemned to writhe in agony” as it dies shortly after birth.

Despite listening to the objections of many in the medical profession, the bill was left with no exceptions for a woman’s health or for nonviable pregnancies.

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  • veggietart

    Isn’t just about every abortion done that late due to fetal abnormalities and/or because the mother’s health (life) is threatened?  So bills like this do nothing but condemn a baby to a short painful life and a woman to agony in carrying a nonviable pregnancy to term and seeing her child suffer for minutes or hours before it dies.

  • crowepps

    You’ve got to understand the mind set.  It’s not about the pain.  It’s not even about the fetus.  The rightwing, punitive chain of (non)thought goes:  “She had sex, didn’t she?  She got pregnant, didn’t she?  When a woman has sex and gets pregnant she’s obligated to serve the full sentence of 38 weeks of pregnancy.  Why should she get off easy just because she didn’t gestate right?”