Senate Republicans balk, complicate passage for anti-abortion bill

A bill to shorten the period during which women may seek abortions passed the state Senate this evening, but not before 13 Republican state senators joined Democrats to substantially change it – raising the possibility that it might not pass before the Legislature adjourns on Thursday.

The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Doug McKillip, R-Athens, who switched parties 18 months ago. If he recommends it, the House would likely accept the changes, sending the bill quickly to the governor.

But Dan Becker, president of Georgia Right to Life, said he will encourage McKillip not to do so, increasing the chances that the bill could get bogged down in the last-minute dickering between the two chambers.

Despite warnings from Senate sponsor Renee Unterman, R-Buford, that amendments were intended to kill the bill, Senate Republicans joined Democrats to make two substantial changes. One was an effort to protect physicians hit with civil suits as a result of the legislation.

But Becker said he was particularly upset by the exemption granted to “medically futile” pregnancies.

Opponents argued that the bill would force women to carry fetuses that stood no chance of survival to full term. Becker countered that tests indicating non-viability often produce false positives – that is, they indicate problems where none exist. “This is the first step toward a eugenics policy,” Becker said.

Earlier in the day, the Peach Tea Party – a conservative coalition that includes GRTL – served notice on 17 House Republicans, many of whom had voted against HB 954 – that they would face opposition in the July primaries. Those 13 GOP senators who voted to amend HB 954 now may be placed on the same list. They are: John Bulloch, R-Ochlocknee; Ronnie Chance, R-Tyrone; Bill Cowsert, R-Athens; John Crosby, R-Tifton; Frank Ginn, R-Danielsville; Greg Goggans, R-Douglas; Tim Golden, R-Valdosta; Johnny Grant, R-Milledgeville; Bill Jackson, R-Appling; Fran Millar, R-Dunwoody; Jack Murphy, R-Cumming; Cecil Staton, R-Macon; and Ross Tolleson, R-Perry.

- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

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57 comments Add your comment

Tom

March 26th, 2012
8:07 pm

Dan “Barren” Becker is a misogynist moonbat and the Peach “Tea” PAC is NOT “TEA”. Their attempt to gain credibility among those of us who know their true Pharisee nature is laughable.

Look before I leap...

March 26th, 2012
8:10 pm

Not ready to do back flips yet, but it is encouraging that the moderate voice is at least getting some exposure to daylight.

Perhaps GOP is seeing the “Bridge Out” sign up ahead.

Michael #1

March 26th, 2012
8:42 pm

Tea party has a lower likability rating than Congress and the people they elected no longer listen to them.

Shar

March 26th, 2012
8:54 pm

Who elected Dan Becker and why does he feel entitled to demand that Republicans only represent him, not their constituents?

td

March 26th, 2012
9:09 pm

Shar

March 26th, 2012
8:54 pm

Dan is just like any other lobbyist. We hire them to make sure the elected officials are toeing the line and are passing the legislation we want them to pass.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

March 26th, 2012
9:33 pm

“But Dan Becker, president of Georgia Right to Life, said he will encourage McKillip not to do so, increasing the chances that the bill could get bogged down in the last-minute dickering between the two chambers.”

Jim, I think that you had a Freudian slip moment with that sentence, which is okay because that’s what most Georgians really think of the legislature, especially when the morons completely hijack the process as they are known to frequently do in the Georgia General Assembly.

Will the last Democrat in Georgia please turn off the lights?.....

March 26th, 2012
9:41 pm

“Earlier in the day, the Peach Tea Party – a conservative coalition that includes GRTL – served notice on 17 House Republicans, many of whom had voted against HB 954 – that they would face opposition in the July primaries.”

What the Peach Tea Party meant to say was that the 17 GOP House Republicans and 13 GOP Senators who voted against and amended this bill will face opposition in the July primaries that is so amateurish and unelectable that it’ll seem as if the incumbents they’re facing are running completely unopposed.

Look before I leap...

March 26th, 2012
9:47 pm

“We hire them to make sure the elected officials are toeing the line ”

Classic case of overreach there td.
Lobbyists (and those that pay them) have no interest in seeing that our legislators “toe the line”.
A lobbyist’s job is to try and influence legislation that is favorable to whatever special interest group hires them.

Shame of Georgia

March 26th, 2012
9:55 pm

Republicans are destroying our country..We going to vote them out.

Nathan Deal will be voted out of the office.

[...] ajc.com, March 26, 2012 by Jim Galloway [...]

td

March 26th, 2012
9:59 pm

Look before I leap…

March 26th, 2012
9:47 pm

You are correct about most lobbyist groups but there are certain groups that are powerful enough to make there legislators toe the line. This group is one of them and so are the teachers lobbyist and the NAACP. These groups carry a great deal of power and do not just try to persuade legislation but demand the legislature to perform in a certain matter.

Tom

March 26th, 2012
10:04 pm

I dunno td….several of the religionazis in the group (Godwin, Tippett, etc…) couldn’t keep their legislators from finally repealing the Puritanesque (and unconstitutional) prohibition against Sunday sales.

B. Thenet

March 26th, 2012
10:09 pm

What you are seeing is the power of the people. Look at where these GOPers that stopped this bill are from(both the initial people who voted against and the amendment), I promise you they were getting beat up by their own constituents…and I am sure in many cases it was their own supporters warning them not to let this pass.

Where Peach Tea PAC will call them RINOS, I think it is safe to say we can call them safely re-elected in their own districts.

ld

March 26th, 2012
10:22 pm

These men need to go back to gossiping about their sports and booze and pickup trucks and leave decisions about women’s bodies to women.

ld

March 26th, 2012
10:26 pm

These same people that want no abortion and not contraception would likely tell you they believe God gave people “free will” and that they believe in individual “liberty” guaranteed to us by our Constitution–

yet here they are trying to move our republic toward a theocracy by trying to take away both.

Religion as law enforceable with all the power and force of government is TYRANNY.

Tiberius

March 26th, 2012
10:59 pm

Nothing worse than a bunch of theocrats in the guise of the Tea Party attempting to use the force of government in the private lives of others.

Shoshanna

March 26th, 2012
11:02 pm

“Adolf Hitler in the late 1930s started the T4 Aktion (Action) program, named after the main office’s address at Tiergartenstrasse 4 in Berlin, to exterminate “useless eaters,” babies born with disabilities. When any baby was born in Germany, the attending nurse had to note any indication of disability and immediately notify T4 officials – a team of physicians, politicians and military leaders. In October 1939 Hitler issued a directive allowing physicians to grant a “mercy death” to “patients considered incurable according to the best available human judgment of their state of health.

Thereafter, the program expanded to include older children and adults with disabilities, and anyone anywhere in the Third Reich was subject to execution who was blind, deaf, senile, retarded, or had any significant neurological condition, encephalitis, epilepsy, muscular spasticity or paralysis. Six killing centers were eventually established, and an estimated quarter-million people with disabilities were executed . . .Princeton University bioethicist Peter Singer says, ‘Killing a disabled infant is not morally equivalent to killing a person.’”

The Washington Times, November 23,2008

Shoshanna

March 26th, 2012
11:07 pm

Some of the exact same language from the article above is contained in the Amendment authored by Bulloch and passed by the Senate. It is the first rung of the “slippery slope” that led to the death of over 6 million Jews, gypsies and other “less than human” post-birth “fetuses”. Pre-birth “mercy killing” leads to post-birth or after-birth abortions.

Tiberius

March 26th, 2012
11:13 pm

Shoshanna, poor try there. The difference is that Germany didn’t have our Constitution to curb his excesses.

Is that really all you have? The Hitler card?

Pathetic.

Aquagirl

March 26th, 2012
11:24 pm

Is that really all you have? The Hitler card?

Bzzt! Thanks for playing, Shoshanna, please grab your first-round loser consolation prize on the way out. We won’t miss your hysterics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

Bernie

March 26th, 2012
11:30 pm

Ladies, something tells me that the Georgia Legislators are starting to think just how you may feel in November. Keep smiling and vote early!

Shoshanna

March 26th, 2012
11:35 pm

Godwin’s law – “Precisely because such a comparison or reference may sometimes be appropriate, Godwin has argued that overuse of Nazi and Hitler comparisons should be avoided, because it robs the valid comparisons of their impact.[5]”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Godwin%27s_law

Bob Loblaw

March 26th, 2012
11:37 pm

The babies won’t live, Dan. That’s why the pregancies can end. Where is eugenics in this? Don’t believe the hype. Why do legislators listen to this idiot? I hope he kills his own bill. Banning Abortions after 20 weeks isn’t good enough. He’s got to ban “abortions” for babies that are going to die anyway, too.

td

March 26th, 2012
11:39 pm

You lib woman are so funny. It is the conservative women that are a lot more adamant about these types of pro choice laws then the conservative men are and all of you are trying to portray it as a man v woman thing.

I do not like the half measures because I think abortion is nothing more then murder and we should outlaw it in the state and take the issue back before the SCOTUS and take our chances.

Tiberius

March 26th, 2012
11:55 pm

Shoshanna, let me tell you a tale of two lives.

Over 20 years ago, my nephew was born to my brother and his wife. He is severely autistic and needs constant care 24/7. He’s a great kid, but trapped inside his mind forever.

Around the time he was discovered to be autistic, my brother began, for a variety of reasons, to drink excessively. I don’t entirely blame the birth of my nephew, but he was certainly a contributing factor in the acceleration of my brother’s alcoholism. For a while, my brother was sober for many of the intervening years between my nephew’s birth through around 2 years ago.

Then my brother fell off the wagon, and fell hard. Again, there were likely many things that contributed to his drinking again; war memories from Desert Storm, the economy, things totally out of his control including the life of his son, my nephew.

Last year, on September 26th, my brother tried to kill himself for the fourth time. This time he succeeded where he had failed each time before.

Was his son’s severe autism the contributing factor in his drinking and eventual suicide? No one knows the answer and no one never will, now. But if I had known that he would not have gone through the 20 years of pure Hell he went through because of my nephew’s condition, I would gladly have counseled abortion in order to have my brother still alive today.

What you and your ilk do in attempting to force women to carry to term fetuses created as a result of incest and rape, and now to carry unviable children who will never know anything, or if they do it will only be pain and suffering and tragedy for the parents, is nothing short of monstrous.

If YOU don’t like abortions, don’t have one.

Congratulations! You’ve saved a life!

What are you going to do to bring my baby brother back, you monster?

ny'er in ga

March 27th, 2012
12:10 am

if after 16 yrs of marriage by chance i become pregnant, the choice of what to do should be my husbands and mine. they want to condemn us for using contraception and planning, want the next generation to be dumb blind and deaf about the realities of sex and safety. little by little our “GOD” given free will to make our own choices are being taken away by those want to be the morality police. let he cast the first stone……right they will throw it and hide their hands. the whole point of separationof church and state is because of this perfect example. just stay the hell out of my bedroom and my body.

Dead Pan

March 27th, 2012
12:14 am

Dan Becker is nothing but a freaking moron. He should embrace this. Now he can keep on raising money for a cause that will never be overturned.

Z

March 27th, 2012
3:50 am

This changes nothing, even if this bill fails to be passed this year, with these fools still in office next year, they can bring back the same thing again. Maybe next year people won’t be paying as much attention to a disastrous bill such as this one. Vote them all out, a Zebra cannot change its stripes.

Bernie

March 27th, 2012
3:51 am

As the honorable Hilliary Clinton has stated, what is this thing with MEN in politics and religion feel that they must control everything about a woman’s healthcare needs. If only they all had beards These legislators could easily be confused with the TALIBAN. Similar MO.

Attack Dog

March 27th, 2012
5:54 am

Just another Dixiecrat doing what they do best. Women Rise Up.

Steve

March 27th, 2012
7:04 am

“The babies won’t live, Dan. That’s why the pregancies can end. Where is eugenics in this?”-

Bob,

Eugenics is precisely the identification of the “less than perfect”, not so to attempt to heal them, but to eliminate their “defective genes” from the gene pool and from society. Kill off all the defective humans, and you only have “perfect” ones left. Removing a dead child -whose death is not attributable to any person – is one thing; killing a living child due to disabilities/defects is where eugenics begins. You cannot predict with 100% certainty which child will die, and even if you could you are advocating active killing, which must stop. Recently the news featured those who advocate killing newborns because they are no different than pre-born children, only their location. That proves the line of thought progresses forward into infanticide as well.

DeborahinAthens

March 27th, 2012
7:08 am

If a woman wants to abort a fetus that has a cruel disease such as Tay Sachs, but is forced to deliver the baby anyway, will Doug McKillip pay for the millions of dollars in health care that it will take to keep that child alive and in pain? He’s so worried about the pain. Is it better to force a woman to have a child with a debilitating disease that makes the child live in agony for several years? This situation has devolved to insanity. With doctors telling these a$$holes the scientific truth, the legislators ignore the truth and force us to live with their consequences.

[...] Thirteen Republican Senators voted for the amendment. [...]

honested

March 27th, 2012
8:09 am

Two scenarios:
1-The bill dies and the State of GA still appears among the most backward and stupid in the Nation.

2-This moronic bill passes and the TAXPAYERS are on the hook to defend it through several courts until it is found UnConstitutional.

Don’t we have better uses for TAX dollars than to defend indefensible laws as they crawl through the courts?

sheepdawg

March 27th, 2012
8:39 am

To hell with dan becker and grtl………

sheepdawg

March 27th, 2012
8:41 am

To hell with dan becker and grtl………and Mckillip too

Shar

March 27th, 2012
8:54 am

@td: You say, “We hire them to make sure the elected officials are toeing the line and are passing the legislation we want them to pass.”

Absolutely wrong. We The People don’t hire them, corporations and special interests do. And they are hired to pressure elected officials to pass legislation that We The People don’t want them to pass.

Slip

March 27th, 2012
8:55 am

So. Let’s recap. Becker believes abortion is murder. Others do not. Who is right? Since evidence of a soul requires faith, the inception of the soul would likewise require it. Differences of beliefs on this point can not be reconciled.
James Madison once said that the government should stay away from “affairs of the conscience” and it would seem this is that situation. Live according to your beliefs and let others do the same.
Rome is burning without water to quelsh it, without roads to escape it and without education to know how to correct it and the legislature spends its day arguing over differing religious beliefs.

GaBlue

March 27th, 2012
9:05 am

Dan Becker = Fringe opportunist who gets off on being Georgia’s self-appointed judge of women. He’d like to paint himself as a savior of babies and a morality watchdog, but the sad fact is, he is neither. He gets is name and picture in the paper, and makes a nice living for himself peddling misogyny.

HB 954 has nothing whatsoever to do with saving lives. It serves only to punish women who are already well into their efforts to bear fruit at the most painful and tragic time of their lives: getting the news that the pregnancy they’re halfway through not only will not end as planned, but could kill them or destroy their chances to bear healthy fruit in the future.

Dan Becker cares about women and children the way Kim Jong Il cared about freedom: NOT AT ALL.

How disappointing to learn that so many of our state reps and senators have decided that PHYSICIANS and WOMEN of GEORGIA CANNOT BE TRUSTED, and therefore require government intervention to allow Dan Becker to make medical decisions for them.

Have they arrested this Pr**k for stealing the laptops from the state ob/gyn association yet?

Real Picture

March 27th, 2012
9:12 am

A lot of the Reps have a one track mind and consider this time a Pro Life session. Do something like the Mayor and go to China to drum up business for the airport vendors.

td

March 27th, 2012
9:20 am

Shar

March 27th, 2012
8:54 am

“We The People don’t hire them, corporations and special interests do.”

Who do you think special interest groups and corporations are? We the people? Should teachers not be able to ban together and hire a person to go to the legislature and ask the representatives to pass legislation that will help them? What is the difference between a group asking and an individual asking (besides the fact that the legislator will ignore the individual).

Richard

March 27th, 2012
9:20 am

Unless Dan Baker is willing to adopt every child a woman considers aborting, his opinion isn’t relevant.

Bernie

March 27th, 2012
9:25 am

I’m not surprised that (finally!) 13 Republicans came down on the side of reason. I’m disappointed that there are not more rational people in that Georgia GOP. When does this GOP push for government intrusion into our lives end? How far into the deep end can the radical end of the party lead them before they realize they are in danger? 13 rational and reasonable Republicans just realized the answer. They have my full support because the reactionary zombies of the far right will surely come for them for the sin of using critical thinking.

Teachertoday

March 27th, 2012
9:35 am

t.d. 9:59
“This group is one of them and so are the teachers lobbyist and the NAACP. These groups carry a great deal of power and do not just try to persuade legislation but demand the legislature to perform in a certain matter.”

If the teacher organizations have any power I’d love to see it demonstarted in some real way. Four years of cutbacks, furloughs, increasing class sizes and no raises, make this claim dubious.

Fred

March 27th, 2012
9:45 am

Seriously, was Unterman really the only female Senator they could find to front for the bill? Wasn’t she the one that was ordered by a judge to not see or speak to her own daughter after she was accused of threatening her husband’s life while firing a gun and striking him. If you want people to believe that your interest is really doing what is best for the child, at least find a spokeswoman who knows what that really means.

td

March 27th, 2012
9:49 am

Teachertoday

March 27th, 2012
9:35 am
had
There was no group immune from the recession. When state revenues dropped from $22 billion to $16 billion in a 2 year period of time and education is 56% of the states budget then teachers had to feel some pain as well. The teachers association was strong enough to survive two years without the pain that the rest of the state employees had too suffer and teachers had a raise since state employees had a raise. Also, teachers are the only state employees that have tenure rights because they were strong enough to get rid of the governor that took them away from them. Yes, teachers have a very strong lobbyist and get advantages that other state employees do not have.

jebbery

March 27th, 2012
10:00 am

Q: Name a reason the Dems would line up behind the Governor’s “tax reform” plan? A: A deal with Republicans promising to kill HB 954 if Dems support the Gov’s plan.

MerryMary

March 27th, 2012
10:28 am

I believe in the separation of church and state but I have to mention the Deity in this post. Thank God!!! for the Republicans who supported the amendment to this bill. The only thing better would be to kill it completely.

honested

March 27th, 2012
10:33 am

td

So you support starving education?

No reason for people to learn they should be free from religious intrusion into their lives is there?

Better to keep them stupid and loyal.

Or we could increase REVENUES to support the costs for which the state is RESPONSIBLE!+

td

March 27th, 2012
10:53 am

honested

March 27th, 2012
10:33 am

I want government to be as small as possible, responsible to the people and involved in the least amount of our lives as possible.

Why should I want revenues increased when we can not expect government to make wise decisions? Why is when education was being starved that non of the county school systems cut the bloated bureaucracies? Why did they not cut salaries of leadership?

As you have said before you are a business owner, what would happen to your business if you cut the people that had direct contact with the customer to keep someone that writes policies for your company and you pay the non producing employees the same amount of money you pay for 3 front line employees?