Georgia State Senate Passes Abortion Coverage Ban

The Georgia State Senate passed a bill Monday that would ban state-sponsored insurance plans from covering abortion care, with no exceptions for rape or incest and only a narrow health exception.

The bill, SB 98, passed the senate 35-18 on a party-line vote, with only one Republican, Sen. Fran Millar (Atlanta), voting against it and no Democrats voting in favor. It will now head to the state house for consideration. Millar’s office told RH Reality Check that he voted no because there were no exceptions for rape and incest, and that he expects a similar bill that does contain those exceptions passed by the Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives to become law and “trump whatever we do.”

If SB 98 becomes law, Georgia will become the 25th state to forbid health plans on the insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act from covering abortion care.

“Rather than focusing on the economy, jobs, or health initiatives that would actually promote women’s health, Georgia politicians have chosen to focus on robbing women of essential health insurance benefits to score political points,” Amanda Allen, state legislative counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, told RH Reality Check in an email.

Michigan recently received national attention for passing an even more restrictive law that affected all private insurance plans, but pro-choice efforts to stop it from going into effect have failed.

Reproductive rights advocates say that insurance bans on abortion are an anti-choice tactic to restrict access to abortion that hurts the most vulnerable, and that health exceptions as narrow as those found in the Georgia bill exclude women with dire circumstances like cancer or heart disease.

“Members of the house should reject this clearly discriminatory and harmful bill,” Allen said.

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

  • fiona64

    Once again, an anti-choice law that affects those with the least economic power. How much do you want to bet that those same anti-choice Republicans are all in favor of cutting Head Start, school nutrition programs, and EBT/food stamps?

    • anja

      How right you are. They don’t care about people only their reputations with the radical zealots with money and influence. Utterly SHAMEFUL!

  • Casandra

    I’m really happy to cut abortions (I find them so tragic) but I am otherwise a liberal and a vocal supporter of Head Start and WIC and pretty much any social program to improve the lives of women and children. I think its painting with a very broad brush to say all those against abortion hate social programs and its a way of avoiding the argument. Those against abortion probably are just that, against abortion. How they feel about other issues is likely as varied as with anyone else. For myself, I am a huge advocate of state-provided birth control (I am not religious) and also social programs to improve the lives of women and children.

    • Jennifer Starr

      And Georgia has a ‘pro-life’ Governor who would like to get rid of EMTALA and be able to turn pregnant women in labor and other medical emergencies away from hospital emergency rooms unless they prove they can pay.’Pro-life’ people who support social programs are a minority.

      • Mirable

        Interesting. I am involved in a discussion on secular pro life perspectives right now, where this FUCKWIT is demanding that I provide her with citations proving that the tea party and the GOP oppose social programs that would help low income baybeez!

        She also said that since she has been pregnant 7 times, and never ever suffered any ill health, that pregnancy is actually no risk and healthy!

        • Jennifer Starr

          Yeah, right, because everyone is just as lucky as she is. That’s just like me saying that I’ve never had measles, therefore measles doesn’t exist.

          • Mirable

            Yes. And, since I survived my trip downtown in the car, without getting into an accident, that I was *never* at risk of getting into a car accident! (she bragged to me about how she is using logic to destroy my arguments)

            She is now saying that people with mental health issues should just ‘seek help’ and ‘go on different meds’ rather than ‘kill their baybee’. Oh, and that they should also 1) not have sex 2) not get raped!!

            And then another moron comes along and says that pregnancy is a natural part of the human life cycle and therefore healthy!

            The real kicker is, when I asked her to explain how exactly pregnancy is a state of wellness, she replied with ‘well it isn’t a disease’

            These people…

            This is the same idiot who, two weeks ago, told me that humans have natural rights conferred upon them by nature…and she linked the UN Declaration of Human Rights! Which is funny, because the UN does not mention ‘nature’ as having granted humans a special status!

          • cjvg

            Society grants rights, nature just is, she does not write laws or regulations!

            She is ignorantly trying to conflagrate nature and natural law as the same. (mother) nature certainly does not place a higher value on a potential life (gestating fetus) then an actual life (the female)

            Species under stress from climatic conditions such as drought or another anomaly that causes a shortage of food may not even cycle into estrous if their body condition is not conducive to carrying to term. Animals that may be just fit enough to conceive to begin with, when pressed by lengthy food shortages caused by severe cold, drought, deep snow, heat, etc. will either spontaneously abort, or more likely since mother nature abhors waste absorb the immature fetus. If the fetus is into late term it typically is aborted (miscarriage).

            Deer, some dogs, humans, hare, cows, cats etc. have all been observed reabsorbing feti.

            Natural law as I believe she is attempting to use it here (sometimes called moral law) is based on our nature as rational beings. It is not based on the nature of irrational beings, such as animals, plants, or inanimate matter.

            It is irrational to believe that a living breathing aware sentient and sapient woman has less rights then a being (fetus) that is obviously not comparably alive as the woman is!

            Potential life never trumps actual life, nature is very clear on that

          • Mirable

            They also think that because humans are *capable* of granting ourselves special rights, that this automatically means that nature *has* granted us special rights


            “Human exceptionalism is proof of human exceptionalism”

          • cjvg

            yeah, I think that is circular reasoning and not really to be used as proof of exceptionalism.

            So who is she claiming that humans as a group are exceptional too? Unless she offers proof that all humans without exception are exceptional to whatever /whomever she is comparing us to, her argument is without merit.

            And if she does happen to somehow “proof” humans are exceptional as a group then that includes those who are pro-choice and thereby she is validating our opinions as equally exceptional.

            Circular unsubstantiated subjective reasoning is factually simplistic in its nature, she would be more honest when she just stomps her foot and screams because I say so!

          • Mirable

            And humans are, by nature, not necessarily exceptional. A pro-choice debater brought up a point that I had never thought of before – what happens to human children who are not given the opportunity to develop normally? What if they are neglected and essentially raised like animals?

            He thought of a scenario in which human babies were left alone on the savannah with nothing but robots to protect them. If these babies were not *taught* to use their big brains, essentially. They would develop into nothing more than feral children, and adults. Basically, what makes us human is more than our equipment, if you will, it is the ability to use that equipment – and if there is a barrier preventing that development, the human will not develop into a rational thinker. Our ‘personhood’, if you will, is not innate – it is the result of thousands of years of KNOWLEDGE being passed down from generation to generation.

          • cjvg

            To acknowledge that, would require intellectual honesty, and I do not think you or I or anyone else can get these people to display these traits

          • Mirable

            That’s cuz they are narcissists. Masturbating furiously at their own image.

          • Arekushieru

            That is similar to what I like to say. Essentially, bodily integrity presupposes life. If it did not, then having the ability to use (or maintain) our equipment (or bodily integrity) would not be an essential part of being human.

          • Arekushieru

            Well, strictly speaking, pregnancy IS a disease, at least in humans (and *most* other animals, *most*, because there are some, rare few, organisms who develop young while in the conceptus stage, themselves). In order for a pregnancy to not be a disease, in the sense I am using it, here, pregnancy could not interrupt the natural (meaning those we are born with) processes of a human who is developing outside of the uterus, essentially, it cannot *dis*continue this ‘ease’ of the born human. However, pregnancy absolutely does do that. Not only is it the second leading cause of death for women worldwide, it also can turn a woman’s body AGAINST itself. Oops.

            Also, pregnancy did not develop because of the uterus. There IS speculation that the uterus was initially meant to protect female mammals against parasites, after all. Too, to this DAY, the person’s immune system has to be suppressed in order to prevent their body from detecting, AND ATTACKING, it AS AN INVADER. *Sigh* These people lack ALL common sense.

            The person who used the logic that pregnancy is a state of wellness because it isn’t a disease is implying that we can say that pregnancy is a disease because it isn’t a state of wellness and be absolutely 100% correct. DERP.

            Um, and the ignorant ass who said that people with mental health issues should just seek help and go on different meds DOES realize that it is people like HER who not only block access to, as well as stigmatize and shame, those who ARE attempting to seek help but also are the very CAUSE of certain mental health issues. What, has she never heard of postpartum depression? Or, has she never heard of people like Andrea Yates? DOUBLE oops.

          • King Rat

            Also, pregnancy did not develop because of the uterus. There IS
            speculation that the uterus was initially meant to protect female
            mammals against parasites, after all.

            got a link? That’s interesting. I just learned this today:


            Actually, pregnancy isn’t unique. It’s quite analogous to a guinea worm infestation, actually.

            You get infested, (oh, but you chose to go in the dirty pond),
            it grows in you and creates a sore and bloated spot, and then it comes out in a massively painful birth process. The same chemical processes a guinea worm uses to evade its host’s immune system are used by a fetus. It is not a fact that pregnancy is unique. It’s pretty similar to other parasites’ life-cycles.””

    • fiona64

      I’m really happy to cut abortions (I find them so tragic)

      Well, then, if you find yourself experiencing an unwanted or life-threatening pregnancy, please feel free not to abort.

    • Ramanusia

      We’d all be really happy to “cut” abortions, that’s very much a liberal and rational viewpoint. But if you were really a liberal, or educated, or compassionate, you’d realize that abortions happen in tragic circumstances many of which can be avoided with good education, access to contraceptives and prenatal care.

      Simply “cutting” abortions because you don’t like them or don’t know much about the circumstances in which they’re used, is simply illogical. Do you find it tragic to allow a woman in need of chemotherapy for a fast progressing cancer? How about a 12 year old who was gang raped and found to be pregnant? Which is more tragic? “Cutting” the abortion or forcing her to gestate a pregnancy that could kill her but will scar her psychologically?

      It’s not a way of avoiding the argument, it’s a statement of fact that the very people seeking to cut women’s access to abortion are the same people cutting WIC programs, and who fund “abstinence only” sex education, and who cut off prenatal programs that help women and their fetuses.

      Those against abortion are within their rights to choose not to have that procedure, they’re not allowed to force that choice on EVERYONE regardless of circumstances.

      The state doesn’t provide birth control, a woman PAYS for that with her insurance premium.

      The abortion thing is a personal decision, just like you’re allowed to choose not to have an appendectomy because you think the procedure is icky, or decline blood products due to your religious or personal beliefs, that problem comes when you want to enforce those beliefs on others at the risk of their lives and their health.