It was a one sided battle that resulted in Democratic women walking out of the legislature while their male Republican colleagues voted to take away their right to choose. Now the bill that prompted the walkout has been signed into law by Georgia Republican Governor Nathan Deal, according to theChicago Tribune.
With its passage, Georgia is now the seventh state to ban abortion after 20 weeks. The legislation made no exceptions for women who are raped or impregnated by incest. The bill does, however, allow an exception if the mother’s life is in danger or if the fetus has extreme defects that make survival doubtful.
Anti-abortion groups in Georgia are unhappy with the bill because they wanted no exceptions at all, meaning they would gladly allow a pregnant woman to die rather than grant her an abortion. It’s a callous notion that they could seek to restore in later legislative sessions.
The bill was passed under the notion that fetuses can feel pain starting at 20 weeks. That notion, however, is false. Scientific studies place a fetus’ ability to feel pain at 24 weeks or even later. According to multiple studies, including one in 2005, scientists generally agree that fetuses can’t feel pain until well into the third trimester after 24 weeks. The 2005 study actually suggests 28 weeks. What is it about facts do Republicans not understand? Have they lost the ability to read and do basic research?
Even the fact that Republicans are going to force rape victims to give birth against their will is deplorable. By not granting this exception, Republicans are giving rapists the sick pleasure of knowing that they can torture their victims for an additional nine months or more. Republicans are rewarding rapists with children. For some sick reason, Republicans want raped women to suffer nine months of psychological and physical pain on top of the pain of being raped. It is immoral to the core and is exactly the reason why Republicans are being accused of waging a war against women.
Georgia bans most abortions after 20 weeks pregnancy
ATLANTA (Reuters) - Georgia Governor Nathan Deal on Tuesday signed legislation banning most abortions after 20 weeks pregnancy, the seventh state to outlaw most late-term abortions based on controversial research that a fetus can feel pain by that stage of development.
Georgia already prohibits most abortions starting in the third trimester.
The legislation allows exceptions to save the life of the mother and if the fetus has extreme defects that make survival unlikely.
"This legislation provides humane protection to innocents capable of feeling pain, while making an important exception for in the case of medically-futile pregnancies," Governor Deal said in a statement.
Neither side in the abortion debate was totally happy with the outcome. Georgia Right to Life, which opposes abortion, has called the new legislation "a step in the right direction" but expressed disappointment at the exemption for "medically futile" pregnancies in which the fetus is likely to die after birth.
Abortion opponents said that the exception left the door open for a doctor to recommend abortion of fetuses that are less than completely healthy.
Planned Parenthood, which provides women's health services and is the nation's largest abortion provider, said the bill would limit women's access to healthcare.
The organization said in a statement that the bill "calls into question every woman who makes a deeply personal, private medical decision."
Georgia joins Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, and North Carolina in banning most or all abortions after 20 weeks.
(Editing by Greg McCune)