GEORGIA LAW: A Woman’s Right To Know Act
The state of Georgia passed a law in 2005 stating that women have a right to learn about all of the options available to them in the event of an unwanted pregnancy.
This law states that an abortion can only be performed in Georgia after “voluntary and informed consent of the female” at least 24 hours before the abortion except in a medical emergency. You also have a right to receive an ultrasound to determine if your pregnancy is viable and if it is, the probable age of the fetus.
When you sign your consent for an abortion you saying that the doctor has told you about:
- Your medical risks associated with the chosen abortion procedure
- The probable age of the fetus at the time the abortion is scheduled
- Your medical risks if you decide to carry the pregnancy to term
PRC Medical can help you meet the requirements needed by providing information about the medical risks associated with abortion, the probable age of the fetus through an ultrasound at no cost, and information about carrying your pregnancy to term.
WHAT ABOUT THE “HEARTBEAT BILL”?
The Georgia Legislature passed the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act in 2019 and Governor Brian Kemp signed it into law on May 17, 2019. The law provides that no abortion shall be performed if the unborn child has a detectable human heartbeat except (a) in the event of a medical emergency or medically futile pregnancy; or (b) in cases involving rape or incest in which an official police report has been filed and where the probable gestational age of the unborn child is 20 weeks or less. The law does not prohibit the removal of a dead unborn child caused by a spontaneous abortion or the removal of an ectopic pregnancy.
MINORS and ABORTION:
In Georgia women under 18 can receive sexual health services such as pregnancy testing, STD testing or ultrasound, which are provided free of charge at PRC Medical, without parental knowledge. However when abortion is desired, the law requires the parents of minors be notified 24 hours before an abortion. This means that if you are under the age of 18, your parent or guardian will be involved in your choice to have an abortion. That said, you must sign your own consent, “freely and without coercion” to obtain the abortion.
In a few cases there may be unusual circumstances when the doctor or minor believes it is not the in the best interest of the minor to notify the parent or guardian. These cases must be settled in juvenile court.
THE FATHER’S RESPONSIBILITY
Fathers have a legal responsibility to provide for the support, medical insurance and other needs to his minor child. In addition, children have rights of inheritance from their father. For more information please call the GA DHS Office of Child Support Enforcement at 404-463-8800.