Georgia Personhood Amendment: War on Women Continues Over Abortion Rights

Editor's Note: With 36 days left until the presidential election, PolicyMic's Audrey Farber will be posting a daily update on the state of abortion rights in the U.S., covering legislative challenges to Roe v. Wade in all 50 states. So far, we've gotten updates on D.C., South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, VermontMassachusetts, Rhode IslandMaine and New Hampshire. Check back in every day to keep track!

The uterus police may be phenomenon that exist only in the minds of some politicians in Georgia, but as Associated Press reporter David Crary argues, the trend of states limiting abortion rights could reach the national level this election season. The peach state is not alone in its push for personhood, but it remains to be seen if that push will be successful in Georgia or in the U.S. as a whole.

Georgia

In 2011, State House Rep. Bobby Franklin tried to pass an extreme Personhood Bill that went so far that, in addition to equating abortion at any stage with murder, it would have required reporting of and investigation into all miscarriages by the “uterus police” or face felony charges. Franklin died a year ago, but a cadre of Georgia GOP politicians is here to carry on his legacy.

In May, Georgia lawmakers passed a “fetal pain” bill prohibiting abortions after 20 weeks, except “to save the life of the mother and if the fetus has extreme defects that make survival unlikely.” Governor Nathan Deal, who ultimately signed the bill into law, expressed his feelings that the bill “provides humane protection to innocents capable of feeling pain.” Georgia Right to Life thinks the bill still doesn’t go far enough, lamenting the exemption for pregnancies in which “the fetus is likely to die after birth.”

In addition to severely restricting the permissible situation in which late-term abortions could be performed, authored by State Representative Doug McKillip (R-Athens) the bill also requires “any abortion performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy be done in a way to bring the fetus out alive.” Neither is there any exception in the bill for rape or incest.

But don’t worry: Doug McKillip, a “smelly diaper” whom the State’s Democratic Party urged Democratic voters to vote against on a GOP ballot, lost his most recent GOP primary election to Regina Quick. Regina Quick would not have supported the fetal pain bill as it “intrudes on decisions that she says are better left to women and doctors.” No Democrat will challenge Quick for District 117’s House seat.

The Georgia governor’s office has a rich history of its own. Former Georgia gubernatorial hopeful Karen Handel was enlisted by the Susan G. Komen Foundation as VP for Public Policy and tasked with orchestrating the organization’s highly controversial defunding of Planned Parenthood. Nathan Deal, only governor since 2011, already voted the fetal pain bill into law. Deal’s predecessor, Sonny Perdue, was responsible for both Georgia’s informed consent and 24-hour waiting period Women’s Right to Know Law in 2005 and the Full Disclosure Ultrasound Act in 2007. Georgia also requires notification of a parent for minors seeking abortions.

The Republican Primary Ballot, which voters replied to on July 31, also included the following personhood question (which, being non-binding, really just polled voters):

“Should the Constitution of Georgia be amended so as to provide that the paramount right to life is vested in each innocent human being from his or her earliest biological beginning without regard to age, race, sex, health, function, or condition of dependency?

This question was supported by two-thirds of Republican primary voters in Georgia, apparently placing the question on the state-wide ballot in 2014.

Oh, Georgia, but your peaches are so delicious.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Audrey Farber

After graduating from some prestigious university somewhere, I worked for academic research, social justice, and arts non-profits in the U.S., Israel, Jordan. I formerly ran a collective blogging project and contributed to Middle East-oriented discussions around the interwebs until I gave up on changing the world. I usually believe in complete social revolution and I make it a point to flout every social expectation I encounter. I do this by living in the Rocky Mountains (for realz) and complaining about tourists, enjoying waffles for dinner, putting easter egg links in my posts, and wishing I was way nerdier. I also like to think I'm the funniest person you've ever met, which may or may not be true. I've also driven across the country by myself more times than I'd care to admit.

MORE FROM

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.

Bill Cosby juror didn't believe Andrea Constand because Constand wore "bare midriff" to Cosby's home

This juror's response to Constand's testimony is victim blaming 101.

In North Carolina, women can't withdraw consent after giving it

The state's consent law says that once someone gives consent, they can't revoke it.

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman was catcalled on stage and it didn't go well

Hall of fame hockey player Marcel Dionne yelled "Look at those legs!" while onstage with Raisman at the 2017 NHL Awards.

How the Senate's draft health care plan could affect reproductive services

It is very close to the House's version of the bill, and would block federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year.

Jury in Bill Cosby case voted 10-2 in favor of conviction, according to juror report

2 jurors prevented the unanimous vote prosecutors needed to convict Bill Cosby of criminal charges, according to an account given to ABC News.

What does consent look like on a show like 'Bachelor in Paradise'?

Warner Bros. has cleared the allegations involving Corinne Olympios and DeMario Jackson, leaving many questions about consent on the show in its wake.

Bill Cosby juror didn't believe Andrea Constand because Constand wore "bare midriff" to Cosby's home

This juror's response to Constand's testimony is victim blaming 101.

In North Carolina, women can't withdraw consent after giving it

The state's consent law says that once someone gives consent, they can't revoke it.

Olympic gymnast Aly Raisman was catcalled on stage and it didn't go well

Hall of fame hockey player Marcel Dionne yelled "Look at those legs!" while onstage with Raisman at the 2017 NHL Awards.

How the Senate's draft health care plan could affect reproductive services

It is very close to the House's version of the bill, and would block federal funding for Planned Parenthood for a year.

Jury in Bill Cosby case voted 10-2 in favor of conviction, according to juror report

2 jurors prevented the unanimous vote prosecutors needed to convict Bill Cosby of criminal charges, according to an account given to ABC News.