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Published: March 10, 2012 10:03 pm to Politics News

Georgia bill blocking state insurance plans from paying for abortions advances

Sixteen states have placed restrictions on state health benefit plans for abortion. Many Georgia state legislators hope to make their state the seventeenth.

State Senator Mike Crane’s S.B. 438 passed the State Senate on the critical Crossover Day for it to reach the House for consideration—but not without a great deal of resistance. Crossover Day, the 30th legislative day, is the last day in the Georgia legislature a bill can be passed out of either the House or Senate and have a chance to be approved by the other house and signed into law. Democrats in the legislature put up a fight to prevent the bill from passing, calling for a vote to table the bill, and for more than 80 minutes they ripped into the legislation, which would end taxpayer funding of abortion for state employees in their health care plans.

“It is both morally and financially irresponsible for our state to force taxpayers to participate in ending the life of an unborn child,” said Senator Crane (R-Newnan).

The vote came on the Eve of International Women’s Day—a day recognized by Google with a special logo on its home page.

“Isn’t it true that this is a sad day for women in Georgia?” asked the female Senator Valencia Seay (D-Riverdale) to Senator Crane during the debate, noting how ironic she thought it was that this vote would come so close to this international holiday.

A sad day for women in Georgia? Not sad for the pro-life women in Georgia who don’t want to pay for another woman’s murder. Not a sad day for little girl babies in the womb—the future women of Georgia.

The argument was yet again another twisted effort by the anti-life opposition to turn the issue on its head from one of ending discrimination against the most defenseless to one of discrimination against women. The picture the Democrats painted was of a group of men trying to dominate women by stopping them from controlling their bodies.

“We are not your property!” one black, female Democrat shouted from the podium when she spoke against the bill.

Other Democrats complained that the bill does not allow for exceptions for abortion in the case of rape or incest. Senator Doug Stoner (D-Smyrna) objected that it was unfair to his wife and daughters. “As a state employee, we’re going to make this decision for you if you’re raped or the victim of incest,” he said.

And the alternative? To have you pay for the murder of a woman’s baby. As Senator Crane replied, rape and incest are terrible things, but two wrongs do not make a right. “I don’t think we as a body should compound one crime with another,” he said. It is not the baby’s fault that it was conceived via rape or incest, nor is it the taxpayers fault. Each life is a providential gift from God however it comes.

Senator Judson Hill (R-Marietta) said his yes vote in favor of the ban on covering abortions with the state health plan was personal. Two of his sons were born at 24-weeks-old and lived for a day, he said. “I’m standing for life. I’m going to stand for those babies who are 24-weeks-old.”

Senator Crane, the author of the bill, is also no stranger to pregnancy complications. One of his children was born prematurely, and he and his wife lost a son who was stillborn.

The Democrats argued that this bill would cost taxpayers a great deal in helping with complicated pregnancy scenarios. When the final vote was cast in the Senate several of the Democratic female senators locked arms and then stormed out of the chamber to express their anger to the local news networks. The bill passed the Senate 33 to 18, and is now headed over to the State House of Representatives.

Just over the last three years, Georgia has paid over $877,122 to perform at least 1,350 abortions for state employees.

“Now some taxpayers may be perfectly fine with that, the ones that think abortion is just a medical procedure,” Senator Crane said. “But for the majority of Georgians, I don’t find that to be the case.”

Only 16 states in total—so far—have placed any kind of restrictions on state health benefit plans for abortion (Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Virginia). Most likely, your legislature has several pro-life legislators who would be eager to introduce a bill like Senator Crane’s. Why not give one of them a call and make the recommendation?

About Nathaniel Darnell

Nathaniel Darnell is a former legislative aide to Georgia State Senator Mike Crane, and holds a juris doctorate from Oak Brook College of Law. He has served as a director at ministries such as Vision Forum and American Vision as well as a filmmaker and graphics designer. He is the author of the novel “Glory, Duty, & Gold Dome” and the producer of over 120 commercial videos. Before working as the Director of the Video Department at Vision Forum Ministries for five years, he served for eight years as a legislative aide at the Georgia State Capitol. He reports and writes regularly for Persevero! News.
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