Georgia's heartbeat-based abortion ban is tied up in court, but six pro-abortion rights legislators in the state have reacted by proposing a bill to remove ultrasound and other informed consent requirements for women seeking abortions.
Ann Beall, director of the Kolbe Center for Life in Macon, is a critic of their bill.
“It is so horrifying to me that anyone, particularly six women, would bring this forward when that's just taking us backwards,” Beall told the Macon-based news station WGXA. “Why would a women not want all of the information possible before having a procedure that's going to change her life, kill her unborn child?”
Beall praised the regulations of the 2005 Women's Right to Know Act, which also require women seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours before procuring one.
House Bill 746, called the Woman's Right to Immediate Access Act, would remove the requirement that a woman seeking an abortion certify that she has seen informational materials and an ultrasound. It has six sponsors in the House of Representatives, all Democratic women.
“Give physicians and give women the right to waive the requirements that women would not get those unnecessary burdens to access to have immediate access to have an abortion,” State Rep. Darshun Kendrick, a sponsor of the bill, told WGXA .
Kendrick said that the existing regulations puts obstacles before women seeking abortions.
Under current Georgia law, elective abortion is legal through 20 weeks into pregnancy.
The legislation is not likely to pass. The Republican Party holds the governor's seat and has a majority in both chambers of the state legislature.
A heartbeat-based abortion ban passed the House of Representatives last year by a vote of 92-78. It would bar abortion after a heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks into pregnancy.
However, that ban is currently temporarily blocked pending the completion of legal challenges in the federal court system.
Kendrick said she filed her bill against abortion regulation in response to the heartbeat-based abortion ban, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports.
For Beall, it was “gut-wrenching” to think abortion is the only option. She said, “helping moms make better decisions is going to make a healthier society.”