A public hearing and a vote on a bill that would outlaw almost all abortions will be held in the Senate Judiciary Committee this morning.
House Bill 314 is sponsored by Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, and passed the House along party lines, with most Democrats refusing to vote on the legislation and leaving the chamber last week.
The legislation makes performing an abortion a class A felony, but women who seek or have abortions would not be criminally liable.
The only exceptions in the bill are if there is a serious health risk to the woman or if the fetus has a “lethal anomaly.”
There is no exception for rape or incest in the bill. An amendment to add those exemptions was offered on the House floor, but rejected by Republicans. Some senators have said they want to see those exemptions in the final bill.
Attempting to perform an abortion would be a Class C felony, punishable with one to 10 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Several groups have said they will sue to stop the law if it’s enacted.
Collins has said the bill is designed as a challenge to Roe V. Wade, the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision, to redefine when life begins.
This week, the governor of Georgia signed a bill banning abortion if a fetal heartbeat can be heard, which can be around six weeks of pregnancy. Opponents say some women don’t know at six weeks that they are pregnant.