Georgia 20-Week Abortion Ban Fails

Georgia Republicans in the House have decided that if they cannot have a full 20 week abortion ban with no exceptions, they don’t want any ban at all.

Via the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

HB 954, the bill to shorten the period of time in which a woman could seek an abortion, died this afternoon – a major defeat for pro-life forces. And House Speaker David Ralston just made sure everyone understood: It was the Senate’s fault.

The Senate substantively changed the bill on Monday, including an exception for “medically futile” pregnancies. The House refused to budge this afternoon, and Senate Republicans couldn’t persuade enough of their number to back off.

It’s a bitter sweet victory.  On the bright side, there will be no ban on abortions at 20 weeks for those women who learn about fetal defects or other issues with their pregnancies, or who had other reasons that they couldn’t obtain an abortion earlier.  But on the other hand, that’s only because a group of House Republicans were so intent on making women carry non-viable pregnancies against their will that they would rather not have a bill at all than allow them to terminate their pregnancies.

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  • prochoiceferret

    I, for one, am happy that Georgia House Republicans are perfectionists. I’d be inclined to set their sites on re-creating the Republic of Gilead in their state (or else nothing), but then, I couldn’t be entirely sure that that’s an unattainable goal the way things have been going lately…

  • littlepunklost

    Unfortunately, a conference committee was called in the final hours of our legislative session which led to HB954 being voted through the house. The only thing that stands in between this bill becoming law is our governor deciding to veto, and he is a pro-life Republican.


    This is so disheartening. I was at the Capitol protest of this bill in Atlanta and tried to talk to my elected representatives & senators, but it’s like none of that matters. Whoever has the most money and the loudest voice in this debate ends up being the one who wins the fight — it doesn’t matter if they’re right or not. It doesn’t make me want to stop being an activist, but it makes me wonder how in the world we could actually fight the people who are misguided and wrong in a way that would actually work.

  • crowepps

    The legislators in Georgia think of you and other Georgia women as breeding stock.  They believe that in league with doctors who refuse to prescribe the pill or insert IUDs or do abortions, and pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions for birth control or allow access to Plan B, and religious leaders who will tell you you’re supposed to shut up and do what the men tell you to do, that you and other Georgia women who are so debased as to permit men to have sex with them can be booted out of schools and offices and returned to the home, barefoot and pregnant, under male control like ‘lascivious’ women are supposed to be.

    They also believe that there isn’t anything at all you can do about it.  They may be right.

    In 2010, the population of Georgia was 9,687,653.  Of that total, 7,197,926 are over the age of 18, but only 5,755,750 are actually registered to vote, and of those only 44.45% actually bothered to show up to vote, or 2,558,430 voters, so when your governor, just for instance, was the choice of 53.2% of the voters he was actually placed in office by 1,361,084 people, or a mere 19% of the total population.  It isn’t about What People Want, it’s about Who Shows Up To Vote.  Actually, it’s about Who Is Organized, because your governor secured his place on the ballot by impressing the 578,673 Republic Party voters permitted to vote in the primary runoff, or a mere 8% of the total population.

    At this point, there are only two courses of action I can see open for Georgia women.

    One is to register to vote, make sure they jump through ALL the hoops to get whatever documents and obscure types of identification they will be forced to have in order to be allowed a ballot, join a political party so they can actually select candidates, and encourage all like-minded women to do the same thing, and then vote as a block in every single election until they have cleared the antique deadwood and religious fanatics out of their legislature.

    The only other option I can see is to move.  They haven’t made it illegal for women to pack up and move out of Georgia to a state where there is a better chance they’ll be treated like actual people.  Yet.

    The U.S. Constitution does not outlaw sex discrimination or discrimination based on sexual orientation, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia told a law school audience in San Francisco on Friday.

    “If the current society wants to outlaw discrimination by sex, you have legislatures,” Scalia said

    The obvious corollary is that he doesn’t see any way in which the U.S. Constitution prevents legislatures from perpetuating, even reinstituting, MORE discrimination by sex.

  • littlepunklost

    Of course I will probably never make enough money to move…and besides, Atlanta and the state of Georgia has been my family’s home for generations. It’s awful to have to be legislated out of your own home, but my family is also working-class black so that’s always been the case anyway, I guess. 

    So I’d have to follow course one, which is making sure that these backwards, career-building-at-my-expense assholes get put the hell out of office. The only good thing about this is that they’re pissing so many different types of people off that we really don’t have that much work cut out for us.



  • crowepps

    Florida has made it clear where things are going in future by criminalizing efforts to help people register to vote.

    “This past August, Florida Secretary of State Kurt Browning withdrew some of the more controversial portions of the bill from review by the Department of Justice. Instead, a court panel in Washington, D.C. will decide whether the four provisions– which place onerous restrictions on third-party voter registration drives, shorten the “shelf life” of signatures collected for ballot initiatives, complicate the process by which voters may change their registered addresses on election day and reduce the number of early voting days– violate the voting rights of minorities.”

    It might be a good idea to get Georgia organized and get people registered while it’s still legal to do so.