Today was only Day Two of the 149th Session of the Georgia General Assembly, but already there is a bill worthy of my brand new, arbitrarily bestowed, “Stirring the Hopper Award.” Congratulations to House Bill 1, entitled, “Crimes against public health and morals; abortion; provisions,” for garnishing enough attention to win this yet-to-be-coveted honor.
HOUSE BILL 1
HB 1 was authored by Rep. Bobby Franklin (R-43) and has already generated a great deal of uproar around the blogosphere. It features a complete ban on abortion and attempts to curtail the controversial Roe v. Wade ruling of 1973.
Here at Peach Pundit, Erick noted Monday that the bill puts “pro-lifers” in “an awkward position.”
And that awkward position got worse Tuesday as the bill began committee hearings.
The Blog for Democracy live blogged the event and basically described a “tent revival” complete with singing, praying, etc.
A post on the Spacey Gracey Review also presents a similar analysis and a few interesting photos.
What really was going on in Room 606 was a freakin’ Jesus rally! An arms-in-the-air, bad music playin’, Jesus worshipping prayer rally by fundamentalist Christian righties, masked as a legislative hearing of course.
Oh hon, believe me when I tell you there were tears and testimony and testifying and fiery God-like righteousness everywhere you looked. Pure theocracy-in-action, certainly not democracy.
That “theocracy-in-action” refers to members of the Christian Coalition who list “protecting life” as their top priority for the 2007 legislative session.
1- Protecting Life
Allow Georgia to vote on a constitutional amendment to restore legal protection for all human beings from the moment of fertilization.
Pass legislation that requires an ultrasound be performed on each unborn child before an abortion. Require the mother of the unborn child to be allowed to review the ultra sound.
In the interest of full-disclosure, I will admit that I am staunchly pro-life with the obvious rape/incest/threat-to-life exceptions. And I agree with many secular pro-lifers that this bill is a bad idea because it constitutes a complete ban on abortion.
But I think an even larger problem with this legislation lies in some of the ridiculous “findings” it prefaces as ground for such a ban.
From Section I of the legislation:
The General Assembly therefore makes the following findings of fact:
(4) As a direct result of three decades of legalized abortion on demand, the nation has seen a dramatic rise in the incidence of child abuse and a dramatic weakening of family ties, with the infamous Roe v. Wade decision pitting mothers against their children and women against men;
(9) Abortion results in increased tobacco smoking, and women who have had an abortion are twice as likely to become heavy smokers and suffer the corresponding health problems as women who have never had an abortion;
(10) Abortion is linked to alcohol and drug abuse, with a two-fold increase in the risk of alcohol abuse among women who have had an abortion and a significant increase in drug abuse;
(11) Most couples find abortion to be an event which shatters their relationship, causing chronic marital troubles and divorce;
(13) Thirty years of abortion on demand have resulted in an increase in breast cancer, and a study has shown that women who had an abortion in the first trimester of pregnancy before experiencing a full-term pregnancy may be at increased risk for breast cancer;
“Findings of Fact?” Divorce, alcoholism, child abuse, breast cancer – all caused by abortion?
These “findings” are more fitting of a humorously nostalgic 1950’s health education film and present, at best, very weak arguments. I want to see life preserved just as badly as the next person, but there are far better and more justifiable reasons for banning abortion that do not appeal to vague findings in random studies.
By inserting these ridiculous claims into a House bill, the overall legitimacy of future pro-life legislation will seriously be in doubt.
I am quite disappointed in Rep. Franklin and the five other co-sponsors of HB 1 and their decision to play wedge politics with abortion. This is a disaster-in-waiting for the Georgia pro-life movement and I hope the House of Representatives has the decency to kill or vote down this bill.
As for the “Stirring the Hopper Award:” I like the name and it’s kind of catchy, so I’ll probably use it at random points in the coming session as I see fit. If you feel strongly that something GGA-related should win the award, let me know.