Georgia “Fetal Pain” Ban Author Ok With Forcing Women Into C-Sections For Unviable Pregnancies

When “fetal pain” bill sponsor, Republican Rep. Doug McKillip introduced a ban to outlaw abortion in the state of Georgia after 20 weeks post-fertilization, he gleefully noted the “thousand babies” the bill would allegedly save. As part of the bill, McKillip mandated that once the fetus is past 20 weeks, every effort must be made to deliver it in a way that would be most likely to save the fetus’s life.

It’s that rule that has doctors the most concerned.

Via Online Athens:

Ruth Cline, an obstetrician and gynecologist, asked McKillip what she should do when a woman comes to the hospital 22 weeks pregnant and her water is broken.

“You deliver the baby in the way that’s most likely to save both lives,” McKillip said.

Delivering a baby in that scenario means using a fetal monitor to check its condition, which requires a cesaerian section, Cline said. The baby would be almost certain to die, and in addition to the mother’s pain and suffering, she’d have to have C-sections for any subsequent pregnancies, Cline said.

“That is what is creating a lot of the controversy over this legislation, having to deal with that situation,” she said.

Of course, according to McKillip, most of the later term abortions performed in the state are “convenience abortions, many of them,” and done up until the day before delivery, so his medical “expertise” is probably not the soundest.

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  • terrirn

    To clarify, a post 20 week post-fertilization fetus is actually considered a 22 weeker by since a pregnancy calculated as starting from the date of the last menstrual period.  A 22 weeker in the U.S. can occasionally be “saved” in an extremely torturous environment of a neonatal intensive care unit.  These babies, generally weighing one pound or less, are not able to breathe, regulate their own body temperature, and are at extreme risk of brain damage due to lack of oxygen (hypoxia), as well as bleeding into the brain (intraventricular hemorrhage).  Most babies born at 22 weeks, if they do survive somehow, will suffer excruciating care for months.  Babies born prematurely are generally expected to stay in a NICU until their due date.  For a 22 weeker, this will mean 4 months of care if everything goes WELL.  The cost of this care is $5,000 per day.  And then, if they make it to discharge, they are at extreme risk of having disabilities due to complications created by their early birth.  Many of these kiddos survive with cerebral palsy, mental retardation, seizures, blindness, autism, learning disabilities, etc etc.  Most will need life-long care.  Is McKillip willing to provide the millions and millions of dollars to provide life-long care for these early fetal/babies? 


  • ljean8080

    you can have it and still have a pretty good life.

  • crowepps

    The effects of cerebral palsy are on a continuum from very slight to grossly disabling depending on exactly what stage of development the child is at birth and how severe the damage is.  The most severe cases of cerebral palsy are people unable to use any of their muscles including those for talking.  I agree with you that people can still have a pretty good life, but I wonder how good that life will be once the conservatives have completed their plans to eliminate every single aspect of societal support for the disabled?