News Abortion

McKillip Defends His 20-Week No-Exceptions Abortion Ban on Specious Grounds

Robin Marty

I know I always let the insurance folk make my medical decisions.

State Representative Doug McKillip is still defending his “no exceptions” ban on abortions after 20 weeks, the ban that dooms a pregnant woman to carry and give birth to fetuses with severe anomalies unless they can *prove* the child will die as soon as it is born, and, in the case of an abortion, would force her to undergo whatever procedure makes it “most likely the child will survive,” even if that means a forced cesarean section that could affect all future deliveries.

Now, he’s telling the audiences in his debates with Republican Regina Quick that he spoke to numerous obstetricians who said his bill was ok.  But more importantly, the insurance industry approved it, too.

Via the Atlanta Journal Constitution:

McKillip said he indeed talked to and “got great advice” from obstetricians:

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“More importantly, I talked to the insurance providers – the people who actually pay the bills for the tests that are necessary to provide the better care. They said, ‘We will simply do the tests earlier.’…In fact it will result in better care for pregnant women. It will result in no barbaric, late-term abortion which results in physical pain to the baby. And it will make Georgia a leader in the pro-life movement. So I’m afraid my pro-choice opponent is badly out of step with Republican principles of life in this state.’

There’s a problem with getting medical advice from insurers. They don’t have medical degrees. Moreover, tests that reveal many fetal anomalies can’t be done earlier because often serious issues aren’t reveal until 20 weeks, which is why a pregnant woman is told to wait until then.

Most earlier tests — amniocentesis, quad screens and CVs — are actually paid out-of-pocket and are not covered by insurance unless a doctor can prove that you are high risk and the tests are necessary. And in the case of amnio, doctors weight the risk of the likelihood of an anomaly with the risk of miscarriage that the procedure can cause.

So, in order to “save babies” from a pain that the vast majority of the medical profession agrees a fetus cannot feel, McKillip wants to increase the risk of miscarriage.

How very pro-life of him.

Watch it here:

News Abortion

South Carolina 20-Week Abortion Ban Won’t Include Rape or Incest Exceptions

Nina Liss-Schultz

HB 3114, which had various amendments tacked on by both the house and senate, will likely be taken up in January with only an exception for fetal anomaly, said Democratic state Rep. Robert L. Ridgeway.

South Carolina legislators have dropped exceptions for rape or incest from a bill that would ban abortion at 20 weeks post-fertilization. HB 3114, which had various amendments tacked on by both the house and senate this year, will likely be taken up in January with only an exception for fetal anomaly, said Democratic state Rep. Robert L. Ridgeway.

“We have agreed on some of the language but there’s still one or two areas that we need to fine tune,” Ridgeway told Rewire. “Due to the lateness, everything is probably on hold until January.”

The original house bill, introduced in December, included only an exception for the life of the pregnant person. After being passed by the GOP-dominated house, senators added exceptions for rape, incest, and fetal anomaly. But anti-choice lawmakers in the house rejected those amendments, leading to the convening of a committee to iron out the differences in the two versions.

After meeting Wednesday, Ridgeway, who sits on the committee, told Rewire that it had decided to add exceptions only for fetal anomaly and not rape or incest. Ridgeway, a trained medical doctor, said that the fetal anomaly exception should be left on because it’s essentially a medical decision to be made by a doctor.

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By contrast, rape and incest are “judicial” decisions, and so could be kept off of the bill, he said.

Other sticking points included a question about how to word the part of the bill that will outline physician liability. The bill’s original text included unique punishments created for physicians who performed abortions after 20 weeks, but the new bill will subject those physicians to general malpractice liability.

Though time is running out for the bill this year, it will be taken up in its current form in 2016.

A dozen states have this year introduced laws banning abortion after 20 weeks. In May, the U.S. House passed a 20-week ban with no exception for the pregnant person’s health or for fetal anomalies.

News Abortion

House to Vote on 20-Week Abortion Ban With Onerous Rape and Incest Exceptions

Emily Crockett

Observers say the GOP bill is likely meant to intimidate physicians out of performing abortions after 20 weeks simply because the legal hoops seem too risky or burdensome.

The U.S. House is expected to fulfill a promise to the anti-choice Republican base by voting Wednesday to pass a ban on abortion after 20 weeks’ gestation.

The ban, sponsored by Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), has been amended to address concerns that its rape exception could re-traumatize victims by forcing them to report their attack to the police, though the new version still places hurdles before both rape and incest victims, still forces doctors to act against their best medical judgment, and still appears to be blatantly unconstitutional.

The so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was supposed to pass in January to coincide with the March for Life and anniversary of Roe v. Wade. But the bill stalled after some Republicans objected to the language in the rape exception, a political embarrassment for the GOP that outraged the party’s anti-choice base.

Now, instead of reporting to police, rape victims must seek counseling or medical attention at least 48 hours before their procedure, forcing women to make multiple trips if they haven’t already sought counseling. The counseling can’t take place at an abortion clinic.

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That’s only for adult rape victims, however. For those younger than 18 who are victims of rape or incest, the crime still has to be reported either to police or to “a government agency legally authorized to act on reports of child abuse.”

The exception doesn’t apply for incest victims older than 18.

The new provision for adult rape survivors amounts to a “cruel and unnecessary two-day waiting period,” according to a statement on the legislation released by the Center for Reproductive Rights (CRR).

Waiting periods often force women to spend unnecessary time and money, while increasing stress and forcing doctors to misinform women about the supposed harms of abortion.

“The new language is alarming in a number of ways,” writes Robin Marty at Dame Magazine. “Even without abortion alternatives information being forced upon her, the idea that potentially unwanted counseling would be a hoop a survivor of sexual assault must jump through in order to ‘earn’ an abortion is deplorable.”

Marty notes that the GOP bill is likely meant to intimidate physicians out of performing abortions after 20 weeks, even if they are medically called for, simply because the legal hoops seem too risky or burdensome.

Even if the conditions for an exception are met, doctors must comply with “arduous new reporting requirements” that conflict with established medical protocol, according to CRR.

Doctors also have to perform the procedure “by the method most likely to allow the child to be born alive,” unless it poses significant risk to the pregnant woman, and bring in a second specialist trained in neonatal resuscitation if the fetus has a chance of survival.

The bill doesn’t contain exceptions for a woman’s health, CRR notes, which could put a woman’s life in danger by forcing her to wait until a medical condition becomes technically life-threatening.

The ban also forces women to carry a pregnancy to term even if the fetus has severe abnormalities and won’t survive. Many women who have abortions after the 20-week mark have wanted pregnancies that have gone wrong, and see abortion as compassionate end-of-life care for their child.

Republican anti-choice leaders in the U.S. House are sounding confident about the rewritten bill’s chances.

“I’m proud we’ve gotten to a point where we found a consensus between our members and the pro-life groups out there,” Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) told The Weekly Standard.

Twenty-week abortion bans at the state and federal levels are a major priority for anti-choice activists and legislators, who see them as a stepping stone to overturning Roe v. Wade. 

Bans on abortion at 20 weeks’ gestation are considered unconstitutional because they restrict a woman’s right to an abortion before a fetus is viable.

Like most 20-week bans on the books, HR 36 also goes against Supreme Court rulings that require abortion bans to include a comprehensive health exception.