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Monthly Archives: March 2015

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.

Human Trafficking
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

March 10, 2015

Emily Matson, Executive Director
Georgia Life Alliance
[email protected]

ATLANTA, GA – Last week, Representative Joyce Chandler (R-Grayson) introduced House Bill 555 in the Georgia House of Representatives.  HB 555 proposes two key changes to existing abortion reporting statutes.  First, it creates a statutory framework for the Juvenile Court and the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) to compile and deliver accurate statistics to the Department of Public Health regarding 10-17 year-old girls who seek an abortion and who do not want to notify their parents.  Title 16 of the Georgia Code already requires the communication of this data, but the AOC has admitted it is not currently gathering data on minors seeking abortions and it has not done so for years.

Second, HB 555 would streamline the reporting requirements for every abortion.  Currently, only physicians who perform abortions in a licensed DCH abortion facility have to report compliance with Georgia Code 31-9A-6.  The two key components of this mandatory report are (1) the physician certifies he has given informed consent regarding the abortion at least 24-hours before the abortion and (2) the physician reports that the woman signed a certification that she has received the informed consent.

On Monday, Representative Chandler shared, “I am honored to fight for these important and reasonable changes to our laws because women deserve complete information when making the life-altering decision to bring a baby to term or end the pregnancy.  Requiring all doctors to report they have provided informed consent to women before performing an abortion is good for women’s health in Georgia. Understanding the number of girls who seek an abortion without the knowledge or support of their parents is good for the future physical and emotional health of Georgia’s young women.”

Georgia Life Alliance Committee has worked tirelessly with Representative Chandler on HB 555. Executor Director Emily Matson had this to say on HB 555: “GLAC supports HB 555.  The data we have from the Department of Public Health shows that from 2006-2012, there have been approximately 208,000 abortions performed in Georgia.  Of that number, there were only 107,000 abortions in which the doctor certified he gave the patient the required informed consent. This is unacceptable.  The reporting requirements are vital to gather important health statistics and ensure women have accurate information in choosing abortion or life.”
The Georgia Life Alliance advocates for the vulnerable, the abandoned, and the defenseless: the baby still in her mother’s womb, the orphaned child desperate for a safe and loving home, and the woman who finds herself in a desperate situation.

We will work tirelessly to bring attention and healing to the struggles of the unborn and other at-risk groups, endeavoring to help secure life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all Georgians.