|Georgia's new 'fetal pain' law threatens doctors with 10-year prison terms, criminalizes nearly all abortions after 20 weeks, and grants state prosecutors 'unfettered access' to women's private medical records, three doctors claim in court.
Three gynecologists who perform a limited number of pre-viability abortions sued Gov. Nathan Deal and other state officials, challenging Georgia House Bill 954, which Deal signed into law on May 1 and is to take effect on Jan. 1, 2013.
Seven other states - Alabama, Arizona, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma - have similar 'fetal pain' bills. Georgia's bill states that a fetus is viable, with a functioning nervous system, at 20 weeks after fertilization, and can feel pain, therefore it is the state's duty to protect the fetus.
The three plaintiff physicians, and other medical experts, disagree on the date after fertilization.