by: Lori Geary Updated:ATLANTA —
Georgia senators debated and have passed one of the most controversial bills of the 2012 legislative session on Monday. House Bill 954 outlaws most abortions performed after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Senate legislators voted 36-19 on Monday to pass a revised version of a bill that would generally ban abortions five months after conception. Republican state Rep. Doug McKillip of Athens told Channel 2’s Lori Geary there were several misconceptions about the bill.
“It does not force you to carry a dead baby. Removing a dead baby from a uterus is not an abortion,” said McKillip.
“What we’re seeing down here at the capitol is the Republican war on women,” said Democratic Sen. Nan Orrock.
Democrats in the halls of the Capitol and on the Senate floor went on the attack, accusing McKillip of playing election year politics. They pointed out just three years ago, he was a Democrat and pro-choice.
McKillip told Geary, “It was to a certain extent, a revelation. As you grow up, and you watch your children grow up particularly, you know I have a 10-, 7- and 5-year old, you begin to realize and you read the Bible. Life begins at conception. That is the issue we’re dealing with.”
Geary asked McKillip if he was pro-choice.
“I was, yes, and changed my mind and realized I was wrong and happy to correct that with this bill,” he said.
Supporters of the bill said it is about protecting human life but opponents said it’s interfering with women’s lives and their decisions. The 20-plus-week abortion ban would include cases of rape and incest. McKillip said there are already 140 days of choice at the beginning, so there is no need for the exception.
Orrock told Geary the bill is unconstitutional and several groups are already planning to sue if the bill becomes law.