March 29, 2012 — Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R) on Tuesday rejected the Senate's changes to a bill (HB 954) that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, essentially bringing the legislation to a standstill, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Quinn/Torres, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/27).
Earlier this week, the Senate amended the bill to allow exemption for "medically futile" pregnancies, which would apply if a fetus has congenital or chromosomal defects (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/27).
Ralston blamed the Senate for jeopardizing the bill. "The House passed a very strong bill and the Senate chose to amend it, and they apparently have not shown in their insisting on their position any willingness to go back and reconsider the House position," Ralston said.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R), who serves as president of the Senate, disagreed with the claim, saying, "At this point, the ball is in the House's court to agree or disagree and allow a conference committee to be appointed." He added that he is "ready to appoint conferees" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/27).
Debra Ness, publisher & president, National Partnership
Andrea Friedman, associate editor & director of reproductive health programs, National Partnership
Marya Torrez, associate editor & senior reproductive health policy counsel, National Partnership
Melissa Safford, associate editor & policy advocate for reproductive health, National Partnership
Perry Sacks, assistant editor & health program associate, National Partnership
Cindy Romero, assistant editor & communications assistant, National Partnership
Justyn Ware, editor
Amanda Wolfe, editor-in-chief
Heather Drost, Hanna Jaquith, Marcelle Maginnis, Ashley Marchand and Michelle Stuckey, staff writers
Tucker Ball, director of new media, National Partnership