The passage of a controversial abortion bill in the House Wednesday puts it on the fast-track to the Senate floor for a vote. But the bill is fueling concern that fear of criminal penalties might dissuade doctors from coming to Georgia.
Under the bill, doctors who violate the new rules—even in the event of medical emergencies-- could be charged with a felony and receive up to 10 years in prison.
Opponents say restricting abortions after 20 weeks would deter good doctors from taking jobs in Georgia.
But Kimberly Jean Schindler has been recruiting physicians to come to Georgia for 21 years. She says doctors won’t be less likely to take a job here if the bill goes through:
"For OB-BYN physicians, we typically ask if they will do elective terminations and there’s a very large percentage of OB-GYN's who won’t do elective terminations. So as far as this bill affecting whether physicians will come to Georgia, I highly doubt it.”
According to the Association of Medical Colleges, Georgia continues to rank near the bottom nationally in its number of physicians per capita.