In HB 954, the so-called “fetal pain” bill, passed through the state House on Wednesday in a 102-65 vote, and now heads to the Republican-controlled Senate. Currently, abortions can be done in Georgia in the last three months of pregnancy to protect the life and or health of the mother. The proposed measure would ban abortions after 20 weeks, instead of the state’s current 24 week rule. And the bill would not allow for abortions sought to protect a mother’s mental health.
The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Doug McKillip, argues “substantial evidence that, by 20 weeks after fertilization, unborn children seek to evade certain stimuli in a manner which in an infant or adult would be interpreted as a response to pain.”
Many doctors and medical experts dispute that claim. Opponents say the bill meddles too much in medical decisions and would force women to carry stillborn or badly damaged fetuses to term.