The Georgia State Senate [official website] approved legislation [voice vote] on Monday that eases the restrictions on abortion imposed by a bill [HB 954] passed by the Georgia House of Representatives [official website] earlier in March. The House bill banned women from obtaining an abortion five months into pregnancy [JURIST report]. The amended Senate bill loosened the House bill's restrictions by permitting women to receive an abortion after five months into her pregnancy if a doctor determines that the fetus has a fatal defect [AP report]. Georgia State Senator John Bulloch [official website], who voted for the amended bill, said that it would give women who learn that their unborn child would not be able to survive outside the womb the ability to terminate their pregnancy. It is unclear whether the House will accept the Senate's amended bill.
Many states have recently passed laws restricting abortion [JURIST news archive]. Last week, Utah passed a law [JURIST report] requiring a woman seeking an abortion to wait 72 hours prior to obtaining one. Earlier last week, the Idaho State Senate approved a bill [JURIST report] requiring a woman who is seeking an abortion to first receive an ultrasound. Earlier this month, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell [official website] signed a similar ultrasound bill into law [JURIST report]. In February, the US District Court for the Western District of Texas [official website] ruled [JURIST report] that Texas can enforce a state law requiring women to receive a sonogram before obtaining an abortion. In July, the North Carolina state legislature overrode a governor's veto [JURIST report] to pass a law requiring a 24-hour waiting period for a woman seeking an abortion.