by Steven Ertelt
February 16, 2007
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) — A state Senate committee voted for a bill that would require abortion practitioners to show women considering an abortion an ultrasound beforehand. The full Senate approved a similar bill last year but the state House defeated it.
The Senate Health and Human Sciences Committee voted 8-5 for Senate Bill 66.
Nancy Schaefer, a Republican and the lead sponsor of the measure, told the panel during a short debate that it would help women with an unplanned pregnancy make a better decision.
Used in pregnancy centers, ultrasounds have helped persuade most women to carry their pregnancy to term and Schaefer said she hoped her bill would do the same thing.
"This act will help women in Georgia have the accurate information they desire to make an informed decision about their pregnancy," Schaefer said, according to an Atlanta Journal Constitution report.
Sen. Preston Smith proposed an amendment to exempt victims of rape or incest from seeing the ultrasound and the committee passed it on a 10-3 vote.
Last week, Georgia lawmakers feuded amongst themselves during a hearing in a state House on a similar bill. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on House Bill 147, sponsored by Rep. James Mills but didn’t vote on it.
Senate Bill 66 next heads to the Rules committee for its consideration.
The bill is the highest legislative priority for Georgia Right to Life for the session.
"This bill requires that an ultrasound be performed on each unborn child before an abortion," the pro-life group says on its web site.
"The mother would be offered an opportunity to view the ultrasound image of her unborn child. If the abortion facility does not have ultrasound equipment, the woman may be referred to a hospital or other facility that has the equipment," GRTL explains.