by Steven Ertelt
January 27, 2005
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — A Georgia lawmaker has proposed a ban on all abortions except for those needed to prevent a mother’s death. However, lawmakers acknowledge the bill has little chance of passing and say such a ban would fail in court until the Supreme Court’s membership changes.
Republican Rep. Bobby Franklin of Marietta put forward the legislation, which would prosecute abortion practitioners who perform any abortion. Rape and incest exceptions are not included in the bill.
Several Republican legislators have signed on as co-sponsors of the measure, though they acknowledge it has little chance of passing.
Rep. Mike Coan, a Republican co-signer from Lawrenceville told the Associated Press, "In all honesty, I think it’s more of a position statement."
"Just being practical, I don’t see it happening anytime soon," Coan said.
Other lawmakers noted the fact that the Supreme Court currently has a 6-3 majority in favor of abortion and, should the bill pass, it would immediately be challenged in court by abortion advocates.
Such a lawsuit would be appealed to the nation’s high court — which would overturn the bill and it would add to case law backing Roe v. Wade.
"Obviously that’s not a bill we’re going to be taking up," said House Republican Leader Jerry Keen. "Even if I don’t always agree with the Supreme Court, they are the highest authority, and we have to respect that."
Meanwhile, Georgia’s leading pro-life organization is pushing for new legislation that will provide women with more accurate information than they normally receive from abortion facilities about abortion’s risks and alternatives.
The bill is patterned after legislation that, in other states, has reduced the number of abortions by one-third.
It mandates that abortion practitioners provide women with the information 24 hours prior to performing the abortion.
A new poll shows that a strong majority of Georgia residents support the Woman’s Right to Know measure.
Conducted for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper, about 60 percent of Georgia voters indicated they "strongly" or "somewhat" supported the legislation. Only 33 percent indicated they "strongly" or "somewhat" opposed the idea.
Pat Chivers, director of government relations for Georgia Right to Life, talked about the poll and why the law is necessary.
"I think it does show that the people of Georgia do want women to have the opportunity to be offered information about the development of the unborn child, alternatives to abortion and the significant medical risks of abortion before they undergo the procedure and have time to reflect on it," Chivers said.