Peake Files Anti-Abortion Bill

7:07 PM, Jan 27, 2011   |    comments
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Allen Peake

Macon State Rep. Allen Peake says he has filed a "fetal pain" bill that would limit abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.

House Bill 89 was filed Thursday.

Peake, a Republican, says studies show that's that point at which fetuses can feel physical pain caused by abortion.

"We believe there's clear evidence that it is feeling intense pain," he said.

Other studies dispute that.

In its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the U.S. Supreme Court said states could restrict abortions after the point of "viability," when a fetus was likely to survive outside the womb. That's generally defined as being between 24 and 28 weeks.

Peake's bill would move that up by several weeks.

He said the law would allow exceptions to save the life of the mother or another fetus, for example a twin.


He says the bill has the support of the House Republican caucus and leaders and that Gov. Nathan Deal approves of it.

Peake acknowledges that the bill could face legal challenges.

Nebraska passed a "fetal pain" law last year and several other states are considering similar bills this year.

Georgia's "Women's Right to Know" website, created in 2005, offers this advice to pregnant women:

 "By 20 weeks gestation, the unborn child has the physical structures necessary to experience pain. There is evidence that by 20 weeks gestation unborn children evade certain stimuli in a manner which in an infant or an adult would be interpreted to be a response to pain. Anesthesia is routinely administered to unborn children who are 20 weeks gestational age or older who undergo prenatal surgery."

Peake says the abortion issue is close to his heart.

Twenty-four years ago, he says, he and his wife adopted a newborn from a pregnancy-crisis center, given up for adoption by her mother who could have aborted. His daughter recently gave birth to his first grandchild, he says.

He says, "This is real personal for me."




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