Georgia Lawmakers Pass Controversial ‘Fetal Pain’ Bill

A compromised version of GOP-backed HB 954, commonly referred to as the “fetal pain” bill, passed the Georgia House on the last day of session, effectively banning women from receiving abortions 20 weeks after fertilization. The Senate had already approved the measure. The legislation exempts “medically futile” pregnancies where congenital or chromosomal defects have been detected in the fetus. No exemption is made for rape or incest, and doctors who perform abortions after the 20 week deadline that do not meet the bill’s guidelines — the abortion must be performed in a way to bring the fetus out alive — could be charged with a felony and sentenced to up to 10 years in prison. Currently, six other states have enacted similar laws. —Fatima Najiy