Georgia Legislator: “We Are Going to Save a Thousand Babies”

When Rep. Doug McKillip, the sponsor of the 20 week ban on abortions in Georgia, learned that the Senate had watered down his original bill and added an exception for “medically futile” pregnancies, it was enough to cause him and other members of the House to consider killing the ban all together.

But after negotiations, including eliminating as many “loopholes” as possible and defining medically futile explicitly as “profound and ‘irremediable’ anomalies that would be ‘incompatible with sustaining life after birth,'” McKillip was ready to come back on board.

After the bill passed both chambers, McKillip declared, “We are going to save a thousand babies when this bill goes into effect.”

But are they? According to the CDC, in 2007, the most recent year of reported data, only about 3 percent of abortions are performed after 20 weeks.  That was only 984 terminations.

Given that the vast majority of later term abortions are performed when fetuses have some sort of defect, at least some of those procedures were likely to have fallen into even that tightly defined medical exception.  And for those that do not meet the “incompatible with sustaining life” but are still dire enough to open the baby to a great deal of pain and suffering after birth, it can only be assumed that a family will look elsewhere, likely to another state… if they have the resources to do so.

Save “a thousand babies”?  Probably not.  Just leave a lot more families desperate and forced to take more effort to end a wanted pregnancy.

Like this story? Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

For more information or to schedule an interview with contact

Follow Robin Marty on twitter: @robinmarty