Friday, March 3, 2006

Three-fer for Right-to-Lifers

Posted By on Fri, Mar 3, 2006 at 10:39 PM

By Scott Henry

It's often a losing game to guess which bills in the Legislature will spark long debate and which will spur a long yawn. Thursday brought a trio of abortion-related bills to the Senate floor that had the backing of Georgia Right to Life and conservative Christian groups. Yet only one of the bills Ñ a measure to expand the definition of "feticide," the killing of an unborn child Ñ provoked much discussion. The other two measures Ñ to allow pharmacists to refuse prescriptions for abortion-inducing drugs and to require ultrasounds for women seeking abortions Ñ passed virtually without comment.

That's because the latter two bills had earlier been neutered in committee, explained Shelly Senterfitt, a lobbyist for the Women's Policy Group. An early version of the pharmacist bill, for instance, would have allowed them to balk at filling any prescription which they believe would end a pregnancy, a provision that encourages ignorance Ñ a commodity of which Georgia has no lack. The current version covers only medication that would actually end a pregnancy, and those medications are administered exclusively by physicians, Senterfitt explains.

The main goal of the feticide bill, on the other hand, was to use state code to advance the belief that life begins at conception and to give embryos legal rights separate from their host organism Ñ sometimes anachronistically referred to as the "mother" Ñ in order to give the right-to-life crowd a better position for future legal battles. Thus, the big hullabaloo. In the end, of course, it passed by a 2-to-1 margin.

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Beltline bandying and more on Air Loaf

Posted By on Fri, Mar 3, 2006 at 8:30 PM

By Sarah Winterfield

The brain behind the Beltline headlines tomorrow's Air Loaf on 1690 AM Air Atlanta. Ryan Gravel, who's now with the Atlanta Beltline Partnership, will join host and Creative Loafing editor Ken Edelstein to discuss the latest developments in the planned 22-mile transit and greenway loop around inner-city Atlanta.

Neighborhood activist and sometimes-Beltline critic Liz Coyle will join in the discussion, which will touch on issues like neighborhood preservation, traffic congestion and whether outside developers will end up forcing their vision for the city on the rest of us.

Also on the show this week: CL film critic Curt Holman handicaps the Oscars, and Danny Orrock of Georgia Watch updates listeners on the legislature's sweetheart deal for auto-title lenders.

And politics! Air Loaf's always a chance to talk about local and state politics!

Listen to the show every Saturday morning from 10 a.m. to noon on 1690 AM Air Atlanta. And call our listener line during the show at 404-633-1690 with your comments and questions.

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