Georgia’s pro-lifers try ‘something better’ to reduce abortions

Demonstrators participate in Georgia's March for Life in January. (Jonathan Phillips / Special)

Demonstrators participate in Georgia’s March for Life in January. (Jonathan Phillips / Special)

Among the base-pleasing issues Georgia’s GOP legislators traditionally unwrap in election years, one can usually count on some kind of abortion restriction. The release last summer of undercover videos accusing Planned Parenthood of selling fetal body parts only raised expectations for such a bill this year.

Instead, the anti-abortion approach during this legislative session has been conspicuous for its subtlety, perhaps the result of a revamped pro-life movement that is no less conservative, just less confrontational.

Forget talk of heartbeats or pain sensitivity. In its place have been bills to help nudge pregnant women toward choosing life. One such measure, Senate Bill 308, creates a “Positive Alternatives for Pregnancy and Parenting Grant” for nonprofit pregnancy support centers.

“This summer, it was so devastating when the (Planned Parenthood) videos came out,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford. “It was so tragic. … So we kind of looked inward, and we said … what can we do within our own state?

“We know we (in Georgia) have over 27,000 abortions in a year, what can we do to just save one? Or to save thousands of them? Or just to cut the number in half? So what do you do? You offer alternative services where people can get help, versus telling them how bad it is and how terrible it is and trying to convince them that way.”

The grants would help pay for medical care, ultrasounds, birth classes, nutritional education, housing and employment assistance, adoption services, goods such as car seats and formula, even information about Medicaid benefits. It’d start small, just $2 million a year, but Unterman said there’s plenty of room for growth.

“Pennsylvania spends $30 million a year,” she said. “They know it works. They’re very conservative; you’ve got the Amish, you’ve got very conservative people up there, and they know girls get pregnant. So they do connect the dots up there, so why not mimic that?”

Another approach can be found in two different bills, SB 331 by Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White, and House Bill 713 by Rep. Brad Raffensperger, R-Johns Creek. Both measures would ensure rapists do not have parental rights for any children conceived during a sexual assault.

That’s common sense: No woman should be forced to deal with her attacker as the father of her child, and Raffensperger told me there have even been cases where men used that possibility to pressure their victims to drop charges against them. But it also removes one reason a woman might resort to abortion, without legislating bans and exceptions.

Unterman, an adoptive mother who spoke movingly on the Senate floor about her inability to bear children, said the point is to find any way to preserve life.

“You cannot believe the people I’ve gotten phone calls from that said, I’m glad you’re talking about something better, not something bloody and gory and gross and making women feel guilty,” she said. “Because a lot of women do feel guilty. And this is something that you know, they can move on with their life. I know that because I’ve experienced it with two birth mothers. And they don’t feel guilty.”

Reader Comments 0

21 comments
BuddyGreen
BuddyGreen

If they forfeit their parental rights do they have to pay child support

GraceD
GraceD

Sen. Renee Unterman, R-Buford , Ms. Unterman (a nurse) knows or should know how you lower the abortion rate. Expanding Medicaid would have been one such step. Providing Birth control would have been another. How about helping parents, single or just working for low wages, through social programs, such as food stamps. Those are just a few areas, off the top of my head.  What a waste of money, & just another farce in the face of all the damage she & her party have done to the people of the State of Ga.  



RoadScholar
RoadScholar

They still do not understand that it should be a woman's choice on whether or not to have an abortion...safely, w/o intervention. yeah let's set up a welfare "state" to ensure less abortions? 

RafeHollister
RafeHollister

If you want more of something, subsidize it.  If you want less of something tax it.


So, simple solution, tax abortions and use the money to subsidize free birth control.

TBS
TBS

Can't say I have any big issues with this bill.  If it works we shall see what the outcome is....

But at the end of the day..... if you are against abortion do not have one. 

gapeach101
gapeach101

$2,000,000 for 27,000.  That's $74 each.  Yeah, that will go a long way.

Wascatlady
Wascatlady

Women, not "girls," get pregnant because they are inseminated by men. Perhaps Ms. Unterman should work on THAT end of the equation.  Preventing pregnancy might start with more access to free birth control, information, etc.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Birth control is only a dollar a pop, so tell us more about how making it "free" will help.

Democrats sure are pathetic. Big boys and girls pay for their own incidentals. Democrats freeload.

Here's_to_Blue
Here's_to_Blue

@LilBarryBailout LBB, you know good and well that birth control is not free.  It's part of (or SHOULD be) an insurance plan for which premiums are paid.  Last time I checked, paying for premiums does not constitute "free" birth control.

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

You might try reading my post.

And what sense does it make to send a dollar to an insurance company so they can turn around and give you 85 cents back in birth control benefits. That's just plain stupid.

ByteMe
ByteMe

It sounds like they've finally figured out that you can't stomp your feet and take away a woman's choice, that you have to give them an option that seems like a better choice.  Seems like it would be worthwhile to spend more on this than wait until after the unwanted child is born and spend it on Medicaid and DFCS services for a child the parent didn't want in the first place.

And, please, guys who claim the woman should just keep her knees closed, let us know if you can keep it firmly stuck in your pants forever before making stupid comments.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

@ByteMe

Subsidizing failure is how we ended up with so many unwanted children.  I'm all for choices as long as the folks making those choices are covering the cost.  Have the kid, abort the kid, use contraceptives to avoid the whole issue--just do it on your own dime please.

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@Lil_Barry_Bailout

There is no shortage of overweight, pasty pale men passing judgement on women. How many of those men are you subsidizing who eat fatty food, don't exercise, and are permanently angry at the world?

People make all sorts of unhealthy choices every day and we still subsidize them without question because it's not as fun as shaming women about sex. 

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Yes, we do subsidize all kinds of failure, mostly thanks to leftist big-government programs. I'm all for ending such programs. And you?

LilBarryBailout
LilBarryBailout

Red herring.

Are you for ending the federal programs that subsidize bad behavior or not?

And no one is forcing you to subsidize health insurance for those overweight, pasty white guys. Oh, wait...that's pretty much the essence of Obozocare.

Aquagirl
Aquagirl

@LilBarryBailout You fail to understand subsidization isn't just public. If some guy is getting a quadruple bypass with my insurance company, I'm paying for that in premiums. How else do you think insurance works?


But again, somehow that's just not as grievous to you as what a woman does with her ladyparts.

Lil_Barry_Bailout
Lil_Barry_Bailout

The most effective thing Georgians can do to reduce abortions is to be less skanky.

Caius
Caius

Pennsylvania, pushed as an example of doing it correctly, has expanded their Medicaid program under Obamacare.  That may explain the $30 million Sen Unterman says Pennsylvania spends on their program.

Locally in our community an organization is purchasing an ultrasound for the local pregnancy resource center. The pregnancy center depends on charitable donations and I am sure would welcome any additional funds from the stte.  But there is something to be said for the local churches and charities doing it on their own.


Question: would approving the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion for Georgia help the cause?

Just asking.