Georgia Senate Committee Signs Off on Pro-Life Bills, Head to State Senate
by Steven Ertelt
February 23, 2006
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — A Georgia state Senate committee signed off on three pro-life bills Wednesday and sent them to the full Senate for consideration. The measures include a pharmacists’ conscience clause, an unborn victims bill, and legislation to let women see an ultrasound of their baby before having an abortion.
The committee approved the conscience clause measure but only after amending it.
The measure had originally allowed pharmacists to opt out of filling a prescription for the dangerous abortion drug RU 486 as well as the morning after pill, which can also cause an abortion on occasion. The provision on the morning after pill was dropped after complaints by abortion advocates.
The latest version of SB 123 now applies only to the abortion drug, which only licensed physicians can distribute anyhow.
Sen. Jim Whitehead said the measure was still needed in case abortion advocates ever decide to try to push to allow pharmacists to dispense the abortion pill.
"I don’t know if we’ll ever have a problem with (RU-486 or similar abortion-inducing drugs), but it does put it in place before the problem arises," he said, in an August Chronicle report.
The legislation allows pharmacists to opt out of dispensing the drug if they file a written notice with their employer.
Meanwhile, another measure allows women to see an ultrasound of their unborn child while considering an abortion. Pro-life groups hope it will persuade some women to change their minds.
"The sonogram is often called the window to the womb," Sen. Nancy Schaefer, a Republican who sponsored Senate Bill 429, told committee members.
Schaefer agreed to allow women who are victims of rape or incest to be excluded from seeing the ultrasounds.
Georgia Right to Life backs all three pieces of legislation and said it was pleased they were all reported out of committee.