Georgia made a dramatic shift in protecting life Tuesday, as Gov. Nathan Deal signed into law bills banning late-term abortions and making it a felony to assist in suicides.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Act, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 2013, shifts Georgia from having one of the most liberal abortion policies nationwide to becoming a state with one of the strictest. Currently, abortions may be obtained in the state for almost any reason throughout the entire pregnancy.
Under the new law, abortions cannot be performed after the twentieth week of pregnancy. The National Right to Life Committee (NRLC) estimates that change will save as many as 1,500 babies annually.
Georgia Right to Life (GRTL) expressed gratitude to the governor for signing the law, but concern about one aspect of the bill.
“While this new law represents significant progress in saving lives, a last-minute amendment that allows doctors to end so-called futile pregnancies is a first step to establishing a eugenic policy in Georgia,” said GRTL President Dan Becker. “It opens the door to destroying babies doctors think may be less than perfect.”
NRLC attorneys helped craft the bill after finding an opening to create new legislation not previously permitted by earlier Supreme Court interpretations of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case which legalized abortion.
Similar laws have successfully withstood challenges in Alabama, Idaho, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. Other states banning late-term abortions are Arizona, Indiana and North Carolina.
Becker praised the assisted suicide law, which has already taken effect, unreservedly.
“Stopping the immoral and barbaric practice of killing in the name of compassion is the right thing to do.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Learn more about Georgia Right to Life.
Learn more about the National Right to Life Committee.