May 23, 2007
Atlanta, GA (LifeNews.com) -- Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue today signed into law a bill that requires abortion practitioners to show a woman considering an abortion an ultrasound of her unborn baby if she wants to see one beforehand. Pro-life groups and legislators hope the measure will help reduce the number of abortions.
With the signing, Georgia will become the tenth state in the nation to pass an ultrasound law -- important because many women change their minds about having an abortion when they see one.
The measure will go into effect on July 1 and representatives of Georgia Right to Life, the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, and other pro-life groups were on hand when the governor signed it.
Representative James Mills and Senator Nancy Schaefer sponsored the legislation that received bi-partisan support in both legislative chambers.
"If all of us — no matter where we're at — if we hate to see an abortion take place no matter what, why not support a bill that gives a woman all the facts before she makes such a critical decision?" Mills said during the debate.
The measure ultimately received a 26-18 vote in the Senate and a 110-46 vote in the state House.
The Full Disclosure Ultrasound Act, also known as HB 147, is considered an extension of the Woman's Right to Know Act of 2005, which is the state law providing women information about abortion's risks and alternatives.
In a statement it sent LifeNews.com, Georgia Right to Life said that if the abortion facility does not have ultrasound equipment, the woman may be referred to a hospital or other facility that does so the law can be followed.
"Most abortion facilities already perform ultrasounds, but the mothers may not be offered the opportunity to see the image of their unborn child prior to making their decision," the group said.
Georgia will become one of the first states in the nation to require information regarding free facilities providing ultrasound services to be given at least 24 hours prior to the abortion. The new law will also require abortion centers to report their compliance with the law to the state health department.
The measure makes sure women can sign a form saying, in writing, that they were offered the opportunity to view the ultrasound.