Georgia State Senate Tightens Pro-Life Parental Consent for Abortion Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 13, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Georgia State Senate Tightens Pro-Life Parental Consent for Abortion Law

by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 13, 2004

Atlanta, GA ( — Members of the state Senate on Thursday voted to tighten a pro-life law requiring parental consent before a teenage girl can have an abortion. They closed a loophole that previously allowed adults other than parents to sign off on teens’ abortions.

"It just takes a loophole out that says it can be your boyfriend that can come in there and sign your slip," said Sen. Ralph Hudgens, the bill’s sponsor, according to the Associated Press. "We simply want a parent, guardian or the court to grant permission, not the boyfriend."

The bill requires parents and guardians to show identification confirming their relationship to the young woman seeking the abortion. Currently, no such proof is required.

Georgia Right to Life supports the legislation saying the lack of an identification requirement "leads to the protection of adults who abuse minor girls and interferes with parents who want to raise and protect their daughters."

The Supreme Court mandates a judicial bypass provision in parental involvement laws in cases where parents are guardians are abusing teens. Pro-life groups say teens need help, not abortions, in such situations.

Similar pro-life laws in other states have been successful in reducing the number of teenage abortions.

Sen. Regina Thomas (D-Savannah) criticized the bill by calling it "propaganda."

"It’s ridiculous; we need to be about the people’s business and not sitting here telling people what to do and how to do it or who to do it with," AP reports Thomas saying.

Referring to a notice from Georgia Right to Life that the vote would be included on a legislative scorecard send to its members, Thomas also said: "I don’t care about a scorecard, and I don’t even care if I get re-elected. Stop trying to dictate people’s lives."

Senators approved the bill on a 42-13 vote and it now goes to the state House for consideration.

Meanwhile, a vote to change a legislative committee that would hear a Right to Know bill lost.

The Woman’s Right to Know Act, sponsored by Sen. Don Cheeks (R-Augusta), would have been recommitted to the Health and Human Services Committee by a motion proposed by Rep. James Mills (R-Gainesville). The motion failed to pass the House, 73-98, dooming the legislation to remain in the House Judiciary Committee.

“This was a great disappointment since versions of the Woman’s Right to Know Act have been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee for twelve years and have not been voted on,” said Georgia Right to Life, who wrote every member of the House urging support for the bill.

The Woman’s Right To Know Act would require abortion providers to present information regarding fetal development and the risks and alternatives to abortion, at least 24 hours before an abortion is performed. The informational materials would be produced by the State of Georgia, both in print form an on the state’s web site.

Related web sites:
See how your state Senator voted on this legislation:
Georgia Right to Life –