Georgia OKs Bill to Sue Abortion Practitioners for Violating Law

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 17, 2011   |   12:40PM   |   Atlanta, GA

The Georgia Senate approved a bill yesterday that would allow women a chance to sue an abortion practitioner who does an abortion without first following various state laws giving them additional information.

Sen. Barry Loudermilk is the sponsor of Senate Bill 210 that would allow women and family members to sue abortion practitioners who don’t follow state law allowing them to see an ultrasound of their unborn child before the abortion or fail to give them the information under the Women’s Right to Know Law such as information on abortion risks and alternatives.

Loudermilk told his colleagues he doesn’t think abortion centers are fully following the law as women are getting abortions without the information, which could change their minds and prompt them to pursue alternatives.

“We believe if [women] see an ultrasound and see this is a living breathing person, they may change their minds,” Loudermilk said, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Lawmakers approved the bill 36-13 but not before Sen. Nan Orrock, an Atlanta Democrat, complained the bill would force abortion practitioners out of the state because of concerns about potential liability for not following Georgia law. Opponents also criticized the committee the bill went to, saying it wasn’t the correct one.

But pro-life groups strongly support the legislation and Georgia Right to Life told it celebrated the passage of the measure.

“Entitled The Women’s Private Right of Action Bill, it provides a woman access to financial recovery for illegal abortions and improves compliance with existing abortion laws, among other things,’ the organization said. “Georgia Right to Life commends Senator Loudermilk and the Georgia Senate for its continued efforts to further the protection of the citizens of Georgia.”

“There has been a lot of controversy over the failure of abortion clinics to faithfully carry out existing abortion laws. The Women’s Right to Know Act and The Full Disclosure Ultrasound Act, enacted in 2005 and 2008, granted women information regarding the abortion procedure and its risks, information regarding the development of the fetus and fetal pain, the probable age of the fetus, and an ultrasound exam among other things,” the pro-life group explained. “SB 210 does not restrict or even change existing Georgia laws. It will, however, give abortion providers extra motivation to uphold the laws that the citizens of Georgia expect them to keep.”

Dan Becker, the president of Georgia Right to Life, added, “It is encouraging to know that a woman who has been harmed by an abortionist, who has acted in violation of the law, can now recover for the wrongful death of her child.”

The bill now heads to the Georgia state House for consideration.