Georgia Senate Backs Unborn Victims, Pharmacist and Abortion-Ultrasound Bills
by Steven Ertelt
March 3, 2006
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — The Georgia state Senate on Thursday approved three pro-life measures that would protect pregnant women from violence, support pro-life pharmacists and allow women to see an ultrasound that would hopefully persuade them against an abortion.
Sen. Renee Unterman, a Republican, sponsored the unborn victims provision that would allow greater justice for pregnant women and their unborn children. It would allow for a second crime when a criminal assaults the mother and kills or injures the unborn child.
“I don’t know anyone, even people who are pro-choice, who wouldn’t say when you kill a pregnant woman, you’ve committed double homicide,’’ said Sen. Don Balfour said in support of the bill during debate.
The Senate signed off on the bill on a 37-15 vote.
Current Georgia law only allows for a second crime when the unborn child is older than 20 weeks into the pregnancy, and pro-life groups support the bill to protect all unborn children.
The second measure allows pharmacists to opt out of dispensing any drug that can end a pregnancy because of their moral or religious views.
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.
Pharmacists could opt out as long as they provide a written statement to their employer.
The third piece of legislation requires abortion practitioners to allow women to see an ultrasound of their unborn child prior to performing an abortion. In most cases, women who see ultrasounds opt against having an abortion.
“This sonogram bill will save lives,’’ Sen. Nancy Schaefer, the bill’s sponsor, told lawmakers, according to a Gwinnett Daily Post report.
That measure was approved on a 35-17 vote margin.
In a statement after the votes, Georgia Right to Life thanked certain lawmakers who made the votes possible.
"Without leaders like Tommie Williams, Eric Johnson, Rules Committee Chairman Don Balfour, Health and Human Services Chairman Don Thomas, and several others, it would have been easy to exclude this legislation during an election year," the group said.
The measures now head to the state House for consideration.