Ga. Senate OKs bill restricting abortion coverage - Alabamas13.com WVTM-TV Birmingham, AL

Ga. Senate OKs bill restricting abortion coverage

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ATLANTA, Ga. -

ATLANTA (AP) - The Georgia Senate has voted to approve a bill restricting abortion coverage in plans available through the state health insurance exchange.

State senators voted 35-18 to advance the bill, which now heads to the House for consideration.

The federal health care law allows states to draft legislation prohibiting abortion coverage in qualified health plans offered through an exchange. Supporters of the Georgia effort say 24 states have done so.

Democrats opposed the bill, calling it a continuation of a "war on women" and saying it infringes on a woman's right to choose.

Senate Bill 98 also prohibits the state employee health plan from offering abortion coverage except in the case of a medical emergency.

The Alabama House of Representatives will debate four abortion bills, including one that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Representatives are scheduled to take the bills up Tuesday afternoon.

A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. Both sides of the abortion debate agree the proposal could end up banning most abortions. North Dakota approved a similar ban that is being challenged in court.

Other proposals would extend the waiting period before an abortion from 24 to 48 hours, and require parents to present a birth certificate or adoption papers when giving consent for their daughter to have an abortion.

Another bill would require women seeking an abortion because of lethal fetal anomalies to be told about perinatal hospice services.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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