Liz Reed was 15 when she was pregnant in 2005.
Asking her family, Reed sent an abortion on schedule. But a trip to a crisis pregnancy center in North Georgia – and listening to the heart of the embryo changed 7 weeks in its womb – its intent. She knew she had to bring her child into the world even if she didn't have the means to support her.
In September, she caught a baby girl who went to a couple who had tried for years to have children.
Things were different for Jen, who asked that her last name be withheld. Jen said, 43, that she knew as soon as she lost her first menstrual cycle in the last fall that she was pregnant. She had to take a child on her own, and she couldn't do something.
She arranged an appointment in November at the Parent Planned near her house in metro Atlanta and, when she was about eight weeks pregnant, she took two pills that put an end to her pregnancy.
Under a proposal that operates through the Legislature, Jen and Reed, now 29, would not have the option of obtaining abortion.
Georgia's lawmakers are considering a bill that would prevent most abortion as soon as a doctor can detect heartbeat in the womb, which is usually about six weeks in pregnancy. The Bill, House Bill 481, prompted a fierce and emotional debate on the start of life and the role of government in healthcare.
The legislation comes at a time when some states are tackling abortion, from similar measures that would restrict access in states such as Kentucky and Tennessee to bills that guarantee access in Illinois and New York.
Many of the bills seeking to restrict access have many legal troubles. All “core bills” passed throughout the country to date have been abolished in a state or federal court, and in other states the law of bills has never been signed.
And the Trump administration is inviting its proposed changes to Title X funding that would prevent family planning clinics receiving funding from taxpayers from women being referred to abortion providers.
The movements have mobilized forces on both sides of the question.
Over the last number of years some abortions have removed abortion, and with the composition of the US Supreme Court towards conservative ideals, they are concerned that more restrictive laws could still be upheld.
Others see the opportunity to put an end to what they believe is a moral moral wrong.
HB hearings attracted 481 overflow crowds of passionate advocates from both sides. Some told very personal stories about their own decisions. Others debated science.
The debate was so reluctant that the committee room had been checked by the law for bombs before the Seanad committee hearing on Thursday.
>> Hearing an abortion bill to Georgia's heart core draws an emotional crowd
>> Photos: Georgia's law makers deal on abortion core heart heart bill;
>> Your copy of Georgia's core anti-abortion bill
>> In Georgia, abortion voting is a potential turning point
>> See how Georgia's state representatives voted on the heart bill.
From Roe v. Wade
In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled the United States of Roe v. Wade decided that a woman had a right to an abortion until the fetus had a viable chance in life outside the womb.
Since then, states have struggled to legislate when that viability – and life – begins.
The ruling established “viability” at the beginning of the third quarter, which is between the 24th and 28th week of pregnancy, and Georgia followed the federal guidelines. Once in the third quarter, the court ruled that abortion could only be provided if the life or health of the mother was at risk.
In 2005 – the same year Republicans took full control of state government – running Georgia law requiring abortion providers to tell a range of information to pregnant women including any medical risks associated with abortion and behavior that term, as well as the transport age of the fetus.
Women must wait 24 hours before they receive abortion.
Georgia successfully prosecuted the law in 2012 banning abortion after 20 weeks which came into effect in October 2015 after it was temporarily blocked in court. While the 20 week limit applies, the case is still going through the legal system.
Abortion is only allowed after 20 weeks if there are congenital defects or chromosomes on a fetus.
Two years later, the law passed that requires parents to be informed at least 24 hours before their baby receives an abortion, unless the girl requests the court to waive the notice rule.
The Department of Public Health of Georgia is charged with overseeing the abortion of the state. Doctors who make an abortion after 20 weeks without an exemption are at risk of suspending their license and will be in prison for a year to 10 years.
While there are no known cases of doctors being prosecuted for infringing the law, doctors say it had a cooling effect. A lawyer for the Composite Medicine Board of Georgia, who is charged with tracking infringements, said she could not say whether there is any reported.
Southeast Parenthood President and CEO Staci Fox claimed the heart bill of a de facto ban on abortion, saying most of the women are not aware that they are pregnant until about eight weeks.
“The ban on abortion is just the latest fight on women's independence,” she said. Previously it was a “birth control (access)). He had the right to vote before that. He previously owned property. As a society we do not yet reconcile women. ”
There are currently about 20 cases of abortion – including some core laws – to be considered by the US Supreme Court. This could address the decision of Roe v. Wade.
The anti-abortion actors of Georgia hope that the heart bill of the state is the one that abolishes the rule of court.
Bill sponsor, Rep Ed Setzler, said he wanted to push legislation that further limits access to abortion since he was elected 14 years ago. If a heart beat is the end of life, he said that it should be considered when life begins.
“It is so important that we act on this,” said the Acworth Republican. “We need to protect children with heartbeat. We know they are part of the human community. ”
Abortion is found in Georgia
The Department of Public Health reported that more than 27,000 abortions were completed in 2017, the latest available year.
Abortion has changed in recent years but has generally fallen from around 32,000 in 2008.
In 2017, more than 129,000 children were born in Georgia. This number has decreased since 2008, when approximately 146,000 children were born.
Georgian law requires an abortion to be carried out by a licensed doctor, which means that the procedure can be carried out by a trained obstetrician / gynecologist or family doctor.
There are at least nine abortion facilities in Georgia, and most of them are in the Atlanta area. That is how health care is available in the state – there is no ob / gyn.
Abortion can be carried out to surgery up to 20 weeks or 'chemically' for women between five and 10 weeks pregnant by taking medication. Planned Parent, pregnant women over 10 weeks are referred to doctors who can make an abortion.
The “pill after morning” does not abort, but instead prevents a woman with unprotected sex becoming pregnant. It must be taken within five days. It is unclear how often the emergency contraception is used.
In some cases, private insurance will cover abortion. Public insurance plans are not, for the most part, involved. It is expressly prohibited in Georgia's state employee insurance program, as well as Medicaid – the government's health care program for people with disabilities and people with disabilities – and plans for exchanges of the Affordable Care Act, except in cases of rape, incest or the life of the mother at risk.
Jen paid about $ 500 for her abortion. Her insurance did not cover her.
She went to Parent Planned for her abortion as she knew she would not be considered. She has volunteered with the organization for many years.
“It is a very traumatic experience, whatever it is,” she said. “If you put the embarrassment and stigma at all, it's really full. But I have no regret. I know it was the right thing for me. I have never wanted to take a child myself after I see what my mother went with me. ”
One mother rose Jen who had her when she was 17 years old.
Jen recalls that she had received a call from a Planned Parent one day or so before the appointment to go through state-mandated counseling which outlined the process involved and informed her that there were other options.
On the day of her appointment, Jen said that she signed and started some forms, showing that she was sure she wanted abortion. Then she left herself in a room to watch an information video in which the actors recited what it was like abortion and reminded her that there were other options available.
Jen then met a doctor, who did an ultrasound to determine how long she had been a pregnancy and to make sure there was only one embryo. She was asked if she wanted to see the embryo or hear the heartbeat, but she said she had refused.
She then took a pill and was instructed to take the second pill between 24 and 48 hours at home.
“It was very terrible,” she said. “It's like miscarriage.”
Crisis pregnancy centers
In Georgia, organizations called “crisis pregnancy centers” are much more than the number of abortion clinics that encourage women to give birth. They offer assistance, including education about alternatives to abortion, to alleviate the burden of unplanned pregnancy.
For over ten years, Daphne Harris Nicely worked with such facilities.
Nicely served as executive director and CEO of Atlanta Pregnancy Resource Center, a faith-based practice with the aim of encouraging a pregnant woman to give birth. The Atlanta Pregnancy Resource Center is known as the Human Coalition Women's Care Clinic.
There are 91 crisis pregnancy centers in Georgia, according to a University of Georgia website.
It was one of those crisis centers that Reed 15 decided to have abortion.
“They asked if I was interested in acquiring ultrasound and I said that,” Reed said, who lives in Sugar Hill. “As soon as they met him and they got the heart and I heard it, he met me: It is a heart that is a special person from me.”
She said she had decided to have her child – and her mother put her out. When she knew she could not build a child herself 15 years old, she got a family through an adoption agency to raise her daughter.
“I'm thinking about it every day,” she said.
Reed said that she felt that the ability to choose between abortion and adoption had helped her to heal.
“I don't think I would be at peace with my decision as I am now,” she said. “It is clear that I have a great life, but I don't know that I support people to tell them what they can and can't do. In my opinion, the way in which abortion will end is education and love. ”
However, she said, if the heart bill means that abortion is less in Georgia, she supports him.
Nicely is now an executive director of Atlanta Morning Center, which provides free care from antenatal to postpartum to women who are not insured or uninsured. She said that her organization is “declaring life.” It also aims to improve women's health.
Georgia was one of the highest rates of maternity mortality as a major point of discussion in the 2018 election season, but Nicely said that she had not heard anything was being done to address the issue since.
She said that while she and her organization were “predetermined,” she wanted the energy around the heart bill to be spent on maternal mortality.
Íocht Science is built up ’
Much of the debate on the bill focused on the question that a listener represents.
Setzler says that science allowed doctors to determine whether fetuses have a core fetus, “coming up with the way abortion is regulated. Previously, he said, doctors said during the early stages of pregnancy that embryo is not just a mass of tissue.
“This bill is sound from a health point of view, it is legally safe and, from the perspective of successive Georgians, there is something we can support and support,” said Setzler.
But Dr. Melissa Kottke, ob / ex-Atlanta who has practiced for 10 years, has a Setzler bill “based on misleading statements and scientific inaccuracies.”
Doctors objecting to the legislation provide evidence that supporters of the six-week “heartbeat” bill suggest that they give tissue exercises that could not power your fetus without the mother.
“It is extremely dangerous for lawmakers to assume that they are better than a woman and their healthcare provider to judge the appropriate medical care,” she said. “This undermines the integrity of patient doctor relations and medical practice of evidence-based standards.” T
Abortion rights actors are committed to fighting the proposal during the legislative process and, if it becomes law, in court.
After an hour of emotional debate which led to the passage of the House earlier this month, a panel from the Seanad on Thursday heard a number of other public evidence of HB 481.
The committee chairman said that she is looking forward to holding another hearing next week.
The legislation is supported by the Government, Brian Kemp, who, during his campaign last year, signed the most severe abortion laws in the country.
To make it to Kemp's desk this year, both rooms must approve it by the time the law is adjourned by the law on 2 April.
Preparing for a fight
The people on both sides of the issue are preparing for a fight when the bill hits the Senate floor.
Anti-abortion makers asked their colleagues to vote with their conscience and they admit that an immoral pregnancy has ended if life begins at conception.
“As we look at things in the state of Georgia, we dig deep in our convictions and not be so political,” said state Sen Bruce Thompson, R-White. Thomas brought similar legislation into the Seanad, but it was not done.
The activists of Democrats and abortion rights say that it is not sensible to vote against women in times when there are large numbers of women coming up at the polls.
“If you want to overcome this bill, be prepared for the consequences,” Sen. Nanrock's democratic state from Atlanta warned his colleagues last week.
Fox, Planned South East CEO, said that abortion rights actors are aiming to target law-makers on behalf of the legislation. Democracy announced its intention to run against Setzler the day after he had cleaned the House.
“We are taking one step at the time,” said Fox. “I am focused on the HB 481 fight. But I am planning for next year and I have notes about who votes against women. We are coming for these seats next year. ”
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