In asking for an exception that would at least allow “medically futile” pregnancies to be ended, Dott told the panel that he delivered his first baby in an elevator in medical school 45 years ago. In all his years of practice, he told the panel, “I have never seen a patient who electively aborted a normal pregnancy greater than 20 weeks.”
McKillip blithely dismissed that claim as well. In fact, he repeatedly treated medical experts testifying against his bill with a zealot’s scorn verging on downright contempt. Contradicting Dott, he insisted that “grand majority” of abortions performed Georgia past the 20th week are abortions of convenience. But again, he cited nothing more than his own considerable moral certitude as evidence.
McKillip repeatedly claimed that his bill was motivated by a reverence for life and a concern about fetal pain. However, his refusal to accept an exception even in cases when the pregnancy is medically futile makes that explanation impossible to accept. Given the explicit chance to add that exception to the bill, the Senate committee also refused.
You cannot claim to be motivated by concern for fetal pain and then condemn babies to a birth that all concerned — doctors, mothers, fathers — know will end in a baby’s excruciating, hopeless death.
You cannot claim to be defending life when you condemn a would-be mother to give birth to death. The bill is angry and punitive, a brutal insistence that if God or nature has dictated that a mother and child go through such torture, then said torture will by God occur. Dan Becker, head of Georgia Right To Life, even warned that those seeking an exception for medically futile pregnancies are part of “a new eugenics movement in the United States” similar to that in Nazi Germany.
The Georgia Legislature, in other words, is in the process of surrendering to zealots and fanatics while disavowing compassion and logic. And it is the nature of zealotry and fanaticism to never be satisfied.
– Jay Bookman
Good article, but of special note is that the author of the bill himself responds in some of the 500+ comments to this excellent column by Atanta’s excellent columnist Jay Bookman.