Archive for the ‘abortion’ Category

17 House Republicans targeted as RINOs on abortion

Peach Tea PAC, the tea party organization created this winter as a means of reestablishing the clout of religious conservatism in the Capitol, today published a list of 17 “in-name-only” House Republicans it intends to target in the July primary.

Most, but not all, of the Republicans named voted against — or did not cast a ballot for — HB 954, the bill to shorten the period during which women can seek abortions, even if the fetus is non-viable. The Senate will take up the bill this afternoon.

Among other reasons cited for opposition: Support for HB 630, a measure to eliminate discrimination in public hiring by sexual orientation or gender identity; support for this summer’s transportation sales tax referendum; and opposition to ethics reform. The group says HB 630 would “legalize sex acts that are now crimes in Georgia.” The measure has not moved this session.

“The following members have displayed a willingness to depart from the conservative principles that form the …

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A raw debate over abortion at the state Capitol

The House on Wednesday passed its first major anti-abortion legislation in several years, shrinking the time a woman has to seek the procedure. From my AJC colleague Christopher Quinn:

The legislation, House Bill 954, also would tighten medical exemptions for terminating pregnancies and require any abortion performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy be done in a way to bring the fetus out alive. The measure is commonly referred to as a “fetal pain” bill and says that a fetus can feel pain at 20 weeks, therefore the state has an interest in protecting it.

The language of the debate was more than emotional. On the GOP side, the central debate is over Georgia Right to Life’s refusal to recognize rape, incest and the life of the mother as exceptions in the abortion debate.

Unlike some national groups, GRTL recognizes only the life of the mother as an exception – and a strict interpretation at that.

In this instance, there was an advantage to being in radio. Audio allows a certain …

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Democratic women seek a state ban on vasectomies for men

This afternoon, the House Judiciary (Non-Civil) Committee will take up HB 954, a measure that would prohibit abortions on women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant. Current law prohibits abortions after the second trimester, or about 24 weeks.

The bill sponsored by Doug McKillip, R-Athens, asserts that 20 weeks is the point at which a fetus can begin to feel pain. The measure also attempts to tighten “life of the mother” exceptions to abortion:

No such condition shall be deemed to exist if it is based on a diagnosis or claim of a mental or emotional condition of the pregnant woman or that the pregnant woman will purposefully engage in conduct which she intends to result in her death or in substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function.

In response, House Democrats have scheduled a 3 p.m. Wednesday hearing at the state Capitol, to propose a bill that would ban Georgia males from seeking vasectomies. From the press release:

“Thousands of …

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Georgia Right to Life spurns Mitt Romney, endorses Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum

Georgia Right to Life today spurned Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, and endorsed Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum in the GOP presidential contest.

GRTL, the most active anti-abortion group in the state, insists that candidates oppose abortion in all cases except when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. The group does not recognize exceptions for rape or incest.

Romney and Paul endorse those latter two exceptions, the group said. From the press release:

“Both Speaker Gingrich and Senator Santorum have clearly demonstrated their commitment to protecting all human life,” explained Melanie Crozier, Director of GRTL’s Political Action Committee. “As a result, we feel strongly that either candidate deserves the support of Georgia’s prolife voters,” she added.

Stressing the need for voters to be informed, GRTL President Dan Becker said, “It’s not just about who can win. It’s time for prolifers to quit voting based on polls and start voting on principle. These are the only two candidates …

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Your morning jolt: What a revived Rick Santorum might mean in Georgia

So Rick Santorum went three-for-three on Tuesday night, sweeping up Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado in those presidential contests. Bad news for Newt Gingrich, but good news for Mitt Romney – even though it may mean a longer slog.

In particular, Santorum’s strong showing could be another enticement for Romney, who makes a short visit to Atlanta today, to make a large commitment in Georgia as we get closer to March 6 and Super Tuesday.

Romney still needs to show he can win in a Deep South state – the Republican party’s geographic base. And no, Florida doesn’t count. A revived Santorum, especially one who does well in blue-collar Michigan on Feb. 28, could weaken the Gingrich campaign here by drawing away evangelicals.

That would give Romney, who won most of metro Atlanta in 2008, a decent chance to win a plurality in the state.

***
The campaign of GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich this morning unwrapped an endorsement from former U.S. Sen. Mack Mattingly and …

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Your morning jolt: Did Karen Handel play a role in Komen/Planned Parenthood split?

The decision by the Susan G. Komen Foundation, the nation’s largest breast cancer advocacy group, to cut most of its ties to Planned Parenthood – made public this week — has roiled the left, cheered the right, and has many wondering why and how the split happened.

Former GOP candidate for governor Karen Handel. Hyosub Shin hshin@ajc.com

Former GOP candidate for governor Karen Handel. Hyosub Shin hshin@ajc.com

From today’s New York Times:

John D. Raffaelli, a Komen board member and Washington lobbyist, said Wednesday that the decision to cut off money to 17 of the 19 Planned Parenthood affiliates it had supported was made because of the fear that an investigation of Planned Parenthood by Representative Cliff Stearns, Republican of Florida, would damage Komen’s credibility with donors….

So the Komen board voted that all of its vendors and grantees must certify that they are not under investigation by federal, state or local authorities. But for Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, being the target of partisan …

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An effort to revive conservative Christian clout at the state Capitol

The bad cops have had their turn. It’s time to bring in the tall, lanky good cop.

For three years, the religious conservative movement has flailed at the state Capitol. Last year, it was rolled, ignominiously, on a measure to empower local communities to decide whether grocery and convenience stores could sell beer, wine and liquor on Sunday.

Jeff Chapman and future governor Nathan Deal at a 2010 Republican debate. Chapman finished a distant fifth in the primary. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

Jeff Chapman and future governor Nathan Deal at a 2010 Republican debate. Chapman finished a distant fifth in the primary. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com

No major anti-abortion measure has passed the Republican-controlled Legislature in three years. The House has specifically blocked passage of a “personhood” bill championed by Georgia Right to Life, which would bestow the legal title of human being on any fertilized egg.

Efforts to restrict in-vitro fertilization by physicians and embryonic stem cell research at institutions such as the University of Georgia have likewise stalled -– in part the result of quiet pressure from the …

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The goose-gander argument: An, um, invasive test for men in search of Viagra

Janet Howell of Fairfax, Va., may have just qualified for sainthood – among Democratic women, at least.

In a debate in Richmond over a bill to require that women submit to an ultrasound before having an abortion, the state senator proposed a medical hurdle for men in search of Viagra. From the Associated Press:

Howell, D-Fairfax, on Monday expressed her disdain for legislation requiring the ultrasound by proposing an amendment she described as a simple matter of fairness. Her amendment said that before being treated for erectile dysfunction, a man would have to undergo a digital rectal exam and a cardiac stress test.

“We should just have a little gender equity here,” Howell said.
She said if women are going to be subjected to an unnecessary medical procedure, men should be as well.
Sen. Jill Vogel, R-Fauquier and the chief sponsor of the ultrasound bill, countered that erectile dysfunction and pregnancy clearly are not the same.

The Senate rejected the amendment on a mostly …

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A House Democrat to sponsor personhood amendment

Today is the first day that bills can be pre-filed for next year’s session of the General Assembly.

We’re told that two lawmakers intend to submit “personhood” resolutions – proposed constitutional amendments that would declare that life begins at fertilization, as would legal protection. All abortions would be banned; in vitro fertilization would be restricted.

Mississippi defeated a similar measure last week by 58 percent.

In the Senate, the sponsor will be Barry Loudermilk, R-Cassville – no surprise, given his pro-life reputation. In the House, the sponsor will be Rick Crawford of Cedartown.

Here’s the thing: Crawford is a Democrat.

“I’m from rural Georgia,” he said. “I have to be well in step, and people have to trust me to represent their interests. It’s not a surprise to anyone that I’m pro-life. This is a discussion that is appropriate for us to have.”

Crawford is currently teaching political science at Shorter College – the school that now …

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The lessons of Arizona, Mississippi for Georgia Republicans

On Tuesday, state lawmakers will begin submitting bills for their colleagues’ consideration in January, when the Legislature returns to Atlanta.

We are entering an election year, which means more than a few of the measures will be intended to stir the blood and drive GOP voters to the polls in November.

But stir the blood too much and the patient revolts. Votes in Arizona and Mississippi last week may have set boundaries for Republicans in Georgia when it comes to two hot topics: Abortion and illegal immigration.

Let’s address the more subtle of the pair first: Last Tuesday, voters ousted Republican Russell Pearce, president of the Arizona state senate and architect of that state’s illegal immigration law — which became a model for Georgia’s HB 87, passed earlier this year.

Opponents of state attempts to enforce federal immigration laws called Pearce’s defeat a victory. But Pearce was replaced by another Republican who also supports Arizona’s approach. Reports …

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