But Democrats in both chambers decried what Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, called an "egregious attack" on women's access to health care.
House Minority Whip Carolyn Hugley, D-Columbus, said only nine other states bar their employee health plans from funding abortion in cases of rape and incest.
“What we’re saying to people working for us in this Capitol is we love you, but you better not get raped,” Hugley said. “Because if you do, you’re going to have to carry that pregnancy to term.”
Hugley also criticized Smith’s handling of the bill in committee. SB 98 had no subcommittee hearing, and the public was not allowed to testify last week when his panel approved the bill in less than 15 minutes.
That process, in fact, was so rushed that the amended version approved by the committee had a glaring error. That version of the bill said any rule or regulation approved by the DCH board as of Jan. 1, 2014, would become law.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported afterward that no such rule or regulation exists. The board’s vote in August to bar abortion coverage was not a rule or regulation under state law. That loophole was closed by the House Rules Committee.