May 17, 2013 Radio Commentary

Pro-Life Bills BLOCKED in the House

Radio Commentary, 90.7, 91.7 New Life FM, May 20, 2013 – By Sue Ella Deadwyler

Good morning, Jim.  The opening statements of Georgia Right-to-Life’s report on the session says, “Well, here we go again!  Only two pro-life bills have been passed in the last four years,” while eight others have been blocked or ignored in committee.

Bills killed this year include The Ethical Treatment of Human Embryos Act (H.B. 481) that passed the Senate in 2010, only to be blocked by the 2010 Speaker of the House Glenn Richardson and a House committee chairman Amos Amerson.

H.481 went to the Representative Willard’s Judiciary Committee, instead of pro-life Representative Setzler’s Science and Technology committee.  Mr. Willard DID give the bill a hearing, but strong opposition by the University of Georgia, Georgia Tech and the Georgia biotech industry killed it.

Then, Representative Jay Neal introduced another bill requesting a study committee to iron out concerns of the university system and biotech industry, but that bill was sent to a non-supportive committee that refused to give it a hearing and that’s where it died.Senator Judson Hill’s S.B. 98 also died without a hearing because it stated: “No abortion coverage shall be provided by a qualified health plan offered through a state or federal law or regulation in the state of Georgia.”  It’s incredible that pro-life legislators can’t get that passed.

It’s also hard to understand why professing pro-life representatives blocked Senator Mike Crane’s pro-life amendment to H.B. 246 prohibiting state-funded abortion coverage for state employees, because the bill did not interfere with their having abortions at their own expense.

After H.B. 246 was killed, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution quoted Governor Deal’s reaction with this statement: “Within the context of the state employees’ health benefit plan, [abortion services] should be an auxiliary benefit that’s paid for separately.  That’s the effort that was undertaken in the Senate yesterday and I support that.”

Since the vast majority of Georgians don’t want to subsidize abortions, the governor and his staff agreed with Georgia Right-to-Life that the problem might be fixed through an executive order to adjust Department of Community Health rules and regulations.

All these bills, including Senator Loudermilk’s S.R. 420 Personhood Amendment were stopped this year, but are alive for next session.  So, I have a question: Why won’t the Speaker and other representatives pass pro-life bills? They ran as pro-life candidates!  For Georgia Insight I’m Sue Ella Deadwyler, your Capitol correspondent.