A new law signed Thursday would make it illegal for state-sponsored insurance plans to pay for abortions in most cases.
Gov. Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 98 into law, a move that makes permanent a decision last year by the Department of Community Health to bar abortion coverage under the health plan except when the life of the mother is at stake.
Deal had made the change a priority after lawmakers failed to pass a similar bill in the waning hours of the 2013 session.
The bill passed largely along party lines, with Republicans chearing its anti-abortion message and Democrats warning it was an attack on women’s right to healthcare.
The measure, which takes immediate effect, makes no exception for rape or incest, only allowing consideration of a medical emergency involving the life of the mother. It doesn’t make any medical procedure that is legal today illegal.
It instead dictates how medical care involving abortions is paid for through the state health plans and through insurance exchanges offered via the Affordable Care Act.