Georgia Legislator Files Fetal Pain Bill

LEGISLATIVE ALERT :  CALLS NEEDED

February 29, 2012 - HB 954 passed in the GA House today by a vote of 102 to 65 and now moves to the GA Senate.

February 28, 2012 - HB 954 the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act passed out of the Rules Committee today - 'Structured' meaning no amendments will be considered - good news.  We expect it to be on the floor of the GA House of Representatives on Wednesday 2/29 for a vote.  Please contact your Georgia House Representative (enter your zip code under “Get Involved” on the top right and look for your STATE legislators) and ask them to vote for HB 954 the Pain Capable Unborn Protection Act.  For more information on the bill see our FAQ.

HB 1114 the Assisted Suicide Ban has passed out of the House Judiciary Non-Civil Committee and has been sent to the Rules Committee to be heard and scheduled for a vote on the floor of the GA House of Representatives.
 
SB 434 the Abortion Mandate Opt Out Act - no abortion coverage provided by a qualified health plan offered through a federal law or regulation within the State of Georgia and 

SB 438 the State Employees' Health Insurance Plan - no health insurance plan for employees of the state can offer coverage for abortion services both passed out of the Insurance and Labor Committee and move to the Rules Committee to be scheduled for a vote on the floor of the GA Senate
 

February 27, 2012 UPDATE - HB 954 passed out of the House Judiciary - Non Civil Committee this afternoon.  It is expected to go to the rules committee to be scheduled for a vote on the floor of the Georgia House of Representatives. Please contact your Georgia House Representative (enter your zip code under “Get Involved” on the top right and look for your STATE legislators) and ask them to vote for HB 954 without amendments.

February 20, 2012 UPDATE - Another hearing is scheduled for HB 954, the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, on 2/21 from 1:00 to 3:00 pm in Room 406 CLOBThe Committee will hear testimony from medical professionals. The agenda is subject to change at the Chairman’s request.  Please continue to call the legislators listed below, and ask them to pass this bill out of committee without amendments.

Atlanta, GA - February 9, 2012 – It is a well established scientific fact that a pre-born child feels the pain of abortion as early as 20 weeks after conception. Republican House Representative Doug McKillip believes this is inhuman and abortions after 20 weeks must be banned. “I became a Christian in ‘09,” he said. “You start reading the Bible, and you realize life begins at conception.”

Georgia seeks to become the seventh state in the nation to pass a bill, similar to a recent Nebraska bill, that took effect in October 2010.  The Georgia bill, introduced by State Representative Doug McKillip (District 115) as HB 954, The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act will include provisions that increase restrictions on abortion services later in pregnancy.  It will also create new penalties against doctors who violate abortion-related laws and require a determination of gestational age prior to abortion. The bill includes exemptions to save the life of the mother, but not for the mother’s mental health or fetal abnormalities.  The measure would prohibit abortion after 20 weeks from conception based on scientific evidence that reveals the capacity of unborn children to feel intense pain during an abortion.

This is a good bill and corrects the problems with the previous version filed last year as HB 89. A committee hearing has been scheduled for late next week in the Judiciary Non-Civil Committee of the House, chaired by prolife legislator Rich Golick. Calls are needed to all committee members to ask them to pass HB 954 out of committee!!

Members of the House Judiciary Non-Civil

 
Rich Golick Chairman   404-656-5943
Roberta Abdul-Salaam     404-656-0325
Stacey Abrams     404-656-5058
Alex Atwood     404-656-0152
Stephanie Benfield     404-656-7859
Charlice Byrd     404-656-0298
Christian Coomer     404-656-0109
Sharon Cooper     404-656-5069
Mark Hatfield     404-656-0109
Dustin Hightower     404-656-0152
Yasmin Neal     404-656-0265
B.J. Pak     404-656-0254
Matt Ramsey     404-656-7146
Nikki Randall     404-656-0109
Ed Setzler     404-656-0177
Wendell Willard     404-656-5125

      The science behind the concept of fetal pain is well documented.  Dr. Steven Zielinski, and his colleagues, Dr. Vincent J. Collins and Thomas J. Marzen, disclosed their research decades ago.  “The functioning neurological structures necessary to suffer pain are developed early in a child’s development in the womb.  By 13 1/2 weeks, the entire sensory nervous system functions as a whole in all parts of the body,” they wrote. Fetal surgery is one of many new technologies unavailable at the time of the infamous Roe v Wade decision of 1973.  Anesthesia is routinely administered to unborn children during surgery.  Consider the case of Baby Samuel, a Georgia baby, who was operated on at 21 weeks of gestation.  The photograph of Baby Samuel clutching the surgeon’s finger from a tiny slit in his mother’s womb became known as “the hand of hope” and pierced a generation. 

    Indeed, in recent years, Gallup polls showed that Americans had become more pro-life than pro-choice.  These trends suggest a real change in public opinion with every age group reporting a rise in pro-life numbers over the last ten years, some more dramatic than others.  Young adults, aged 18-29 have increased 4 points, the 50-64 demographic has risen by 5 points.  Those in their 30’s have seen an increase of only 2 points. Women in general have seen a six point gain in the last ten years, while men have increased three points   

     The Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, HB 954, is one of many pieces of pro-life legislation currently sweeping the country. It has become law in Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. It has withstood every court challenge. This legislation helps establish a very real discussion about the humanity of the unborn child throughout pregnancy.  Mary Balch, attorney and author of the original bill remarked that the bill would change the next generation and how they view the developing child — regardless of age.  Georgia is pleased and proud to remain at the forefront of pro-life legislation nationally.  Georgia Right to Life praises the co-sponsors of HB 954 for their efforts to provide further protection to the unborn.

Georgia Right to Life promotes respect and effective legal protection for all human life from its earliest biological beginning through natural death. GRTL is one of a number of organizations that have adopted Personhood as the most effective pro-life strategy for the 21st century.

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