Bill wants Georgia to pay for unwanted pregnancies under abortion

The bill would make the state pay for everything from medical expenses for pregnant women to health insurance for children and secondary education.

ATLANTA — A bill introduced last week in the Georgia House of Representatives would have made Georgia financially responsible for pregnancies in the absence of a six-week abortion ban.

Georgia’s Birthplace Responsibility Act ensures that the state pays for everything from medical bills for pregnant women to health insurance for children to secondary education.

While unlikely to pass the Republican-controlled House and Senate, Rep. Darshun Kendrick (D-Lithonia) told 11Alive that the bill kicked off an important conversation about the state’s six-week abortion ban and its implications Then he said

“This is a real serious piece of legislation and I don’t understand why all the conservatives weren’t running to sign it,” said Kendrick. “If you claim to be pro-life and pro-family, I will give you exactly what you are asking for. It is to support our family.

what the bill does

Georgia’s abortion law effectively bans the procedure once fetal heart activity is detected, usually after about six weeks of gestation. There are some exceptions.

If the pregnancy is the result of rape and incest, abortion can be done up to 20 weeks. The procedure can also be performed if a medical emergency exists or the pregnancy is deemed “medically unhelpful” by a doctor.

Under Kendrick’s proposed law, “pregnant women” would be entitled to a variety of costs related to pregnancy and childcare, including “reasonable living, legal, medical, psychological and psychiatric costs.” Compensated.

If the death or disability results from pregnancy, the state will cover the associated costs. The bill also calls for compensation for future loss of income if a woman dies.

Mothers are eligible for child-related federal or state income tax credits and public assistance programs such as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program (WIC) for Women, Infants, and Children. Specially trained state-provided nurses make home visits from early pregnancy until the child’s second birthday.

Beyond infancy, the state covers children’s health, dental, and vision insurance until they reach age 18. Also, the state is responsible for paying child support to “unmarried women” if the father is unknown or unable to care for them. .

In addition, the state funds savings trusts that help pay for children’s higher education.

To receive compensation, the woman must submit an affidavit to the Georgia Department of Social Services. The state welfare department then assigns case managers to assist women, and the Georgia legislature establishes a new fund to support the department’s efforts.

Kendrick told 11Alive that he adopted the bill from a similar proposal by South Carolina Senator Mia McLeod, a Democrat. You don’t have to sue to get it.

This isn’t the first time Kendrick has taken aim at state abortion laws.

She co-founded a failed 2019 proposal requiring men over the age of 55 to “immediately report to the county sheriff or local law enforcement if such men release sperm from their testicles.” was a sponsor.

Kendrick said the 2019 bill was “symbolic” and the 2022 bill “serious.”

“The topic is always about Georgia being pro-life and pro-family. We have a surplus, so let’s put those resources behind us and become a truly pro-life and pro-family nation.”

How much does it cost to the state?

The Georgia State Comptroller could not provide a definitive estimate of how much the legislation would cost the state.

The department cited many unknown factors, including the number of women and children eligible for benefits, the department said.

There were 34,988 abortions in fiscal 2021, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health. In 2019, 40% of abortions occurred within the first six weeks of his life and are still permitted under state law. However, pregnant women can leave the state for abortion care.

“In addition to the difficulty of estimating the number of individuals receiving benefits, the per-individual cost of some benefits cannot be determined,” the report said.

Georgia’s abortion law was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019 and finally came into effect after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe V. Wade decision. A group supporting the choice challenged the state law, and a Fulton County Superior Court judge ruled it was unconstitutional.

The state appealed the ruling, and the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that the ban remains in effect as long as the case is considered.

When asked about Kendrick’s bill, House Majority Leader Chuck Estration (R-Dacula) told 11Alive that lawmakers are waiting to see how the Supreme Court will rule on the case. said.

“Laws that consider the financial impact on taxpayers require significant scrutiny, including projections of what those costs will be,” said Efstration.

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