ATLANTA — Georgia lawmakers appeared to stall Thursday passing another restrictive abortion bill – this one making abortion pills unavailable by delivery.
It comes after federal COVID-19 rules were enacted when face-to-face visits with abortion providers became problematic.
The abortion pill bill has already passed the state Senate. But House members seemed to balk at advancing it out of a House committee.
Georgia’s controversial "heartbeat bill" passed three years ago with a lot of drama. The new abortion pill bill is somewhat less contentious. Backers of the bill say it’s about saving the lives of women.
"In essence, we want to make sure that the female is a good candidate to be able to take these medications," state Sen. Bruce Thompson (R-White) told the House Health and Human Services committee. "We want to make sure we aren’t preventing her from making the choice, but we do want to make sure that somewhere in this state, we aren’t putting that woman’s life at risk by the choice she makes."
The sponsor calls the bill the "Women’s Health and Safety Act." It restricts abortion access.
- It makes it unlawful to provide abortion inducing drugs via any courier delivery or mail service
- Specifically mentioning drugs like Mifeprex, Cytotec and RU-486.
- It would require women seeking abortions from medications to get an ultrasound
- And to be informed “she may see the remains of her unborn child in the process.”
"Requiring her to see me in person does not increase her safety," obstetrician / gynecologist Dr. Carrie Cwiak of Atlanta told the committee.
Opponents said the bill would actually harm women by making abortion medication less available earlier in pregnancy.
"If you wait longer because you have unnecessary barriers, you have less chance of having success and you have more adverse outcomes," Cwiak said.
The House committee declined to take a vote on the bill – making its passage this legislative session iffy with just two days left before adjournment.