State Senators had just one last bit of business Thursday, before adjourning until September – overriding Governor Perdue’s veto of House Bill 854.
Republicans persuaded Senator Stan Bingham, the lone dissenter in their caucus, to stay away for the vote – ensuring the numbers would be in their favor to override and make the “Woman’s Right to Know” Act law.
Throughout the debate, Democrats repeatedly tried to persuade the majority to let this veto stand.
Senator Linda Garrou told her colleagues life was indeed a gift, but this bill would not prevent abortions, only put more women in jeopardy.
Sen. Gladys Robinson chastised lawmakers for cutting health care in the state budget, and then imposing restrictions on low-income women in crisis:
“…and that’s a travesty, because you have access.”
Sen. Eric Mansfield, a practicing physician in Cumberland County, noted the state’s informed-consent laws already require disclosure:
“If we as a body are going to be about evidence, you have none. If it’s going to be about policy, you have none. If it’s about politics, you win the day.”
Republicans did win the veto override, 29-19.
The new law will require a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking an abortion. It also stipulates that the women undergo an ultrasound and be offered the chance to hear the heartbeat.
Doctors will be required to tell their patients not only about the medical risks of abortion, but also about other options such as adoption or welfare services.
Republicans maintain this law will save almost 3,000 lives annually.
The General Assembly will reconvene again on September 12th to consider constitutional amendments and other unfinished business.
To watch part of Thursday’s floor debate, click below: