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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Abortion battle royale at Gold Dome — but first, lunch!

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 12:56 PM

The state House is in recess just now until 1:45 to give members time to digest their lunch before going at each other tooth-and-nail over House Bill 954, the latest bill to restrict abortion rights in Georgia.

I've written a story about the measure and its legal and political implications that will run in this Thursday's CL, but, simply put, the bill would shorten the period during which pregnant women could legally obtain an abortion in Georgia from the current 26 weeks down to 20 weeks — which just happens to coincide with the time that expected mothers first learn about fetal abnormalities. Oh, I should also mention that the proposed bill provides no exceptions for said fetal abnormalities.

As if those facts weren't enough to set the stage for a knock-down, drag-out debate, you should also note that HB 954's chief sponsor is Rep. Doug McKillip, the Athens attorney who forever earned the ire of Democrats when he switched parties to become a Republican on the eve of the 2011 General Assembly — after being chosen as House Minority Leader!

Knowing that Democrats want to take down McKillip nearly as much as they want to defeat the bill — not that there's much of a chance that will happen — Speaker Ralston has limited debate on this provocative bill to two hours. Let the fireworks commence!

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