Governor Nathan Deal signed into the law Tuesday a controversial abortion bill, shortening the period a woman in Georgia can have an abortion from 26 to 20 weeks. There are no exceptions for rape or incest.
There is an exemption for "medically futile" pregnancies-- giving doctors the option to abort a fetus that would not survive birth. Doctors would also be protected from civil suits under the new law.
The original legislation from Rep. Doug McKillip is part of a national campaign to ban abortions starting 20 weeks after conception when abortion opponents say a fetus can start feeling pain — a point disputed by some doctors.
Critics of the bill have said that many abortions performed so late in a pregnancy are sought by parents who learn their unborn child will not survive outside the womb.
The law goes into effect January 1, 2013.