Life at the Capitol
The 2015 Georgia General Assembly is three-fourths over by the calendar. However, most would say the real work has only begun. There are nine (9) remaining legislative days which will very likely include several nights as well.
Since the first day of the session in January, Georgia Life Alliance Committee has been tracking proposed legislation and working to advance our own mission in the form of legislation.
On Day 27, Representative Joyce Chandler (Grayson) introduced House Bill 555 which would accomplish two major objectives.
First, HB 555 would help ensure Georgia’s women receive the information required by the Woman’s Right to Know Act (WRTK).
Second, HB 555 would help ensure we have an accurate report of the number of females, age 10-17, who have obtained an abortion without their parents being notified.
Prior to the performance of an abortion, WRTK requires the physician to inform the patient of the following:
- medical risks of the abortion,
- the probable gestational age of the unborn child at the time of the abortion,
- medical risks of carrying the child to term,
- that medical assistance benefits may be available to her for prenatal, childbirth, and neonatal care,
- the duty of the father to provide support, and
- how to obtain a free ultrasound.
Unfortunately, only physicians performing abortions in licensed abortion facilities are required to report he or she has given the informed consent set out in the WRTK and that the patient has certified in writing she has received the information.
From 2006 to 2012, there were 208,362 reported abortions in Georgia. For the same time period, there were only 107,067 reports certifying the physician provided the WRTK information. Requiring that in the case of all abortions a physician must certify he or she has provided the information required by WRTK is vital to ensure each woman in Georgia is making an informed choice to either bring her unborn baby to term or terminate her pregnancy.
HB 555 was assigned to the Insurance Subcommittee on Health and Life and unfortunately remains there at this time. In order to keep HB 555 viable we need your help. Please contact your Representative and Senator as well as Members of the House Insurance Committee and Chairman Richard Smith and let them know you support HB 555.
If you’ve been following us on Facebook, you know that GLAC opposes Senate Bills 39 and 41. SB 39 would reverse the legislative changes made in 2012 which restricted abortion after 20 weeks gestation. SB 41 would establish the “Georgia Family Planning Initiative” under the Department of Public Health, for the purpose of “providing high quality family planning services and related preventative health care to improve the health of women and infants.” Because we see no positive connection between the state paying for “implants, intrauterine devices, vasectomies, and tubal ligations” and the health of infants, GLAC opposes SB 41 as well. Please contact your Representative and Senator to let them know that you oppose SB 39 and SB 41.
While our effort is targeted to promote and effect that legislation which is directly related to our mission, we would be remiss to not draw our readers’ attention to one final matter: SB 8. This legislation seeks to address and remedy the tragedy of victimized children who face criminal charges for the very acts by which they have been victimized, i.e. human trafficking. This is a very difficult but urgent current issue to tackle. Though not directly related to our mission, SB 8 touches on the protection of life for those who truly cannot speak for themselves. The bill has passed the Senate and is in the House for further review.
Working to Grow a Culture of Life,
Georgia Life Alliance Committee