LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga., April 18, 2011 /Christian Newswire
/ — Thursday, April 14, marked the end of the annual forty-day legislative session of the Georgia General Assembly. It also marked a new low in the State House’s relationship with Georgia Right to Life
and its prolife base. For the second year in a row, there was no prolife legislation enacted. In contrast, the Senate leadership has led by example and passed strong prolife bills each of the last four years.
House Speaker David Ralston, who claims to be prolife, blocked efforts by House members on two meaningful bills, ensuring they were never taken up in committee. He also ignored two excellent Senate bills which had passed with every Republican senator voting “yes”. In response, the Speaker offered his own “prolife” bills. The Speaker’s bills were deeply flawed and damaging to the state’s ability to protect the preborn. Dan Becker, President of GRTL, explained, “If passed, these fake prolife bills would have nullified twelve years of prolife gains. Both bills were surgically designed to allow for abortions through all nine months. In addition, the Speaker’s bill introduced “rape and incest” exceptions’ in the Georgia code for the first time in twelve years.
Late in the session, Ralston backed what looked like a prolife bill. The Rules Committee even amended the bill with seemingly prolife language. A friendly attorney’s careful research, pointed out that it was a cynical ploy. The measure’s language was excerpted directly from Nancy Pelosi’s federal “Obamacare” bill. It would have had little to no prolife impact. That answered GRTL Legislative Director Mike Griffin’s question: “Why were Planned Parenthood and other groups doing nothing to oppose it?” As Griffin said on the final day, “This bill was a placebo; it was meant to make us feel good–it was a fake.” True prolife members of the House and Senate were frustrated by this year’s inaction. Leaders among them who attempted to work with the Speaker found closed doors and empty promises. “This is not what we expected from the Republican Party,” said Becker, “we are deeply disturbed by this continuing left-of-center shift towards a pro-abortion agenda. Georgians are prolife.”
In contrast, GRTL points to Georgia’s solidly prolife electorate. In a non-binding question on 2010 primary ballots, 75% of voters in 46 counties approved a state human life amendment. “There is no political reason for Georgia Republicans to shy away from strong, meaningful prolife legislation,” said PAC director Melanie Crozier, “Georgia is a prolife state.” “Regrettably, we are left now with only one option,” said Becker. “We must inform constituents that these obstructers have been hostile to prolife legislation, and our PAC must work to elect legislators who will represent the sanctity of life by their actions, not just their words.”
Since 2001, GRTL’s political action committee has only endorsed candidates with prolife positions that preclude abortions for any reason except to save the mother’s life after attempting to save both mother and unborn child. The PAC also requires candidates seeking endorsement to indicate willingness to work for passage of a human life amendment to the Georgia constitution. All nine statewide constitutional officers elected in November hold this position. “It would appear that being prolife is mainstream politics everywhere except the Georgia House,” concludes Becker, “It’s time that changed.”