On May 1, 2012, Governor Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill 954, which would prohibit the elective termination of all pregnancies at or beyond 20 weeks after fertilization or 22 weeks gestation. There are currently an estimated 1300 babies aborted each year after 22 weeks in Georgia. Georgia became the sixth state to pass such a bill, which was sponsored by Representative Doug McKillip, who did a fine job researching the facts about fetal pain and the wording of the bill. All the pro-life groups in Georgia lobbied for the bill, particularly the Catholic Conference and Georgia Right to Life. The bill was opposed by the Georgia Ob-Gyn Society and Planned Parenthood. Several blast faxes and emails from the Georgia Ob-Gyn Society misrepresented the bill to physician members, repeatedly stating erroneously that this would result in cesarean sections for all babies in labor at 20 weeks or later and that patients with IUFDs could not be induced. It did contain a provision allowing termination of a pregnancy with a baby with a lethal anomaly after 22 weeks, but there was no exclusion for maternal health reasons, unless it was life-threatening. Increasingly babies with anomalies that once were thought to be lethal are surviving after birth. Information about perinatal hospice, promoted by AAPLOG, was used in testimony for the bill as well as abundant scientific data on fetal pain, which can be found at www.doctorsonfetalpain.com. Here are comments by the AAPLOG doctor involved with passage of the bill: Georgia, after a lengthy, bloody battle, passed legislation this year prohibiting the termination of a pregnancy beyond 20 weeks after fertilization (22 weeks), except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger (not psychological). Unfortunately, it required a compromise to allow for lethal anomalies in the baby to have it pass. It is estimated that 1300 abortions are being done beyond this gestational age in Georgia each year. The Georgia Ob-Gyn Society sent out such distorted misinterpretations of the bill, that I scarcely recognized the bill in their comments to members. It was difficult to pull out the resources to testify for this bill. I would like to share this info with you, as well as the arguments on each side, because this is another major blow in bringing down abortion in this country. Planned Parenthood has yet to take this law to court in the other six states where it has passed. Don’t be afraid to help with the passage of this type legislation, it is irrefutable – and it was President Reagan who first raised the issue of fetal pain in the 80’s. The first website contains all the scientific articles on fetal pain since the mid-80’s as well as the testimony before Congress of Dr. Jean Wright, a pediatric anesthesiologist. http://www.doctorsonfetalpain.com/ http://www.ajc.com/opinion/abortion-bill-fosters-safety-1422423.html#.T5HAQrZEhjc.email http://www.ajc.com/opinion/state-guards-babies-in-1408404.html#.T5G-DNOhU0w.email http://www.aaplog.org/perinatal-hospice/ http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/News2?abbr=daily2_&page=NewsArticle&id=32691#.T5G–Sk8OSM.email http://www.georgiaobgyn.org/communications/HB%20954,%20SB%20434,%20438,Update%203.1.pdf AAPLOG strongly supports legislation which decreases the intentional killing of innocent unborn children. It would be wonderful if a law were passed eliminating all killing of innocent unborn children. Until that time, doing what can be done is a great deal more valuable and courageous than doing nothing.