Friday, March 26, 2010

GA Senate Votes to Prevent Coercive Abortions

The Georgia State Senate today voted to prevent women in Georgia from being forced to have an abortion against their will. Under Senate Bill 529, authored by Sen. Chip Pearson (R-Dawsonville), criminal abortions will include unlawfully coercive abortions, or with the intent to prevent a birth based on the gender or race of the unborn child.

“Georgia should have the proper protections in place for women who may be in danger of coercion. The numbers tell the true story; when 64 percent of abortions involve coercion, we clearly need to give women recourse to protect their personal decisions,” said Pearson. “It’s also imperative that as a civil society, we protect the unborn from gender and race selection.”

The bill defines the offenses of a criminal abortion to be when a person performs an abortion with the knowledge that a pregnant woman is being coerced, with the intent to have an abortion based on race, color or gender, or with the knowledge that a pregnant woman is seeking an abortion based on race, color or gender. The bill also allows women to recover civil damages if they receive such an abortion, and ensures that they would not be held criminally responsible.

In a recent article from The Economist, the author coined the term “gendercide” to describe the gender and race selection that has wiped out at least 100 million girls across the globe. The article went on to note that “the cumulative consequence for societies of such individual actions is catastrophic.”

Even Secretary of State Hilary Clinton agrees, saying that “Unfortunately with technology, parents are able to use sonograms to determine the sex of a baby, and to abort girl children simply because they’d rather have a boy.”

According to Americans United for Life, nine states currently have some form of coercive abuse prevention laws and three states have sex-selection abortion laws. The Atlantic Magazine notes that Georgia is joining seven other states in its effort to prevent sex or race-selection abortions.

Sen. Chip Pearson serves as chairman of the Economic Development Committee. He represents the 51st Senate District, which includes Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Pickens, and Union counties and portions of Forsyth and White counties. He may be reached at 404.656.9221 or via e-mail at
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