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Friday, February 24, 2012

Abortion bill hearing has emotion, levity

OK, so the levity wasn't intentional, but it literally made me laugh out during a crowded House Civil Judiciary Committee hearing at the state Capitol a short while ago. And, in my defense, the line was delivered with perfect stand-up timing.

One of the last speakers was a woman identifying herself as a representative with a group called PATH, or Post-Abortion Trauma Healing, for which I can find no website or Internet evidence. She took the mic to testify that the women she counsels are stricken by guilt and remorse over their abortions, sometimes years after the fact. In conclusion, she asked a question, followed by the punch line:

"If an abortion doesn't benefit the child and it doesn't benefit the mother, then who does it benefit? Maybe we should follow the money."

Oh, right, because providing abortions is such a lucrative enterprise.

Not surprisingly, the rest of the testimony wasn't as funny — nor is the reason we were all there. House Bill 954, sponsored by Democratic-turned-Republican Rep. Doug McKillip of Athens, would prohibit abortions in most cases after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The current limit is 26 weeks with some exceptions, which would also be limited under the legislation. McKillip's bill appears to have the support of House Speaker David Ralston, which could help it become the first significant restriction on abortion rights in Georgia since the 24-hour "waiting period" on abortions passed in 2005.

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