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Tuesday, May 1, 2012 - 9:24am

Abortion Bill To Become Law

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.