This legislative session is 5 days from being over. If you’ve been following my notes on the legislative items of interest (to me) you probably have realized that no commentary from me means not much is going on. All of the transportation items I had interest in are done for the year; nothing moved. HB 166, which would have required 4 year accredited degrees for Professional Engineers, died in the House Rules committee, again, and that makes me happy. I do not support that measure, on egalitarian principles.
There has also been ringing silence on a number of other topics, mostly things that get killed in committee so that no vote is necessary for a state legislator to put his or her name down on record. A prime example of that is legislation which would have made it much more reasonable for individual property owners to install renewable energy sources (solar, wind, etc.) and sell the power back to Georgia Power. This one died very very quietly.
As the title of this post notes, it’s an election year and politicians don’t want to stir the pot too much before having to face the voters which is why numerous bills haven’t advanced. They do however want to burnish their reputations, and that brings us to HB 954, “Abortion; criminal abortion; change certain provisions”.
Doug McKillip (R-Athens), who was the state chairman of the Democratic Caucus in 2010 and is now a raving, born-again social conservative (literally. Go see his website) proposed the measure in association with five other Republicans. The bill makes several unfounded assertions about fetal pain1 and it contains several findings, the most important one of which is number 5:
(5) It is the purpose of the State of Georgia to assert a compelling state interest in protecting the lives of unborn children from the stage at which substantial medical evidence indicates that they are capable of feeling pain.
They probably would have deleted everything after “…unborn children…” if they thought they could get away with it. The bill makes it a criminal act to perform nearly any abortion on a fetus that is 20 weeks or further along. Here are the only exceptions:
(c)(1) No abortion is authorized or shall be performed … unless … the abortion is necessary to:
(A) Avert the death of the pregnant woman or avert serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman. No such condition shall be deemed to exist if it is based on a diagnosis or claim of a mental or emotional condition of the pregnant woman or that the pregnant woman will purposefully engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function; or
(B) Preserve the life of an unborn child.
I find subparagraph B very interesting. I have limited knowledge of this, but I assume that this is intended for the removal of an unborn child from a dying or dead mother. However, what if you could establish that a twin within the womb was causing harm to the other child? That would be ground for terminating the homicidally-minded fetus. This bill actually supports abortion!2
This measure has passed the House and is cruising through the Senate right now. Jay Bookman probably has the best commentary on it right now especially how it concerns the blatant hypocrisy of flying the morals flag while condemning certain babies and families to a horrendous and scarring situation.
In case you haven’t gathered, I do not support this measure. I do not support any measure that interferes with a person’s right to choose their own medical care. One day, the people around us will realize that antiquated stances based on the teachings of people who’d never heard of medical care in any kind of modern sense is not the best course of action for our country or state3. Contact your State Senator and express your disappointment in our legislature. Contact the Governor’s office and tell him that if it gets that far you do not want him to sign it. Don’t let Georgia join the ranks of the other states pushing government into the private business of women and their families.
- The term used is “substantial evidence” but that is never presented [↩]
- Of course, that goes along with the Georgia support of the death penalty. If my twin is trying to strangle me in the womb, I want the full power of the law to punish him. [↩]
- I’m looking at you, Abrahamic religious followers, although I honestly don’t know what the Jews think about abortion [↩]