After contentious debate, the Georgia House of Representatives has passed House Bill 954, which would require that abortions done after 20 weeks gestation be performed in a way that the fetus could potentially be removed alive, reports the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Quoting statistics from the Department of Community Health, the bill’s primary sponsor, Rep. Doug McKillip, R-Athens contends that “in the past five reporting periods, between 568 and 1,541” abortions were performed after 20 weeks gestation. “We are going to save 1,000 to 1,500 lives,” he said.
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Many people are not so enthusiastic, pointing to potentially dangerous problems for doctor, mother and child if this bill were to take effect:
“The language of the bill has clauses of limited exceptions, but this interpretation can require days, months or years of legal review,” said Dr. Ruth Cline of Athens, an obstetrician.
“This is not a realistic option when caring for a patient when every minute is critical for optimal care. No physician could afford to risk that his or her care would be examined after the fact to confirm that the law had been followed if criminal penalties were a probability,” she said.
“It is time for the government to get out of my examination room in my office,” she said. “If you legislators want to practice medicine, go to medical school!”
The bill still has to pass through the senate.
Read more at the Atlanta Journal Constitution.