March 3, 2014 Atlanta: Sen. Mike Crane, left, and Sen. Judson Hill, celebrate the passage of Hill's SB98 Monday. The bill would remove funding for certain abortions under some insurance plans. Today is the last day for bills to pass either the House or Senate. Bills that do not clear at least one chamber today will not have a chance of passing this session. BRANT SANDERLIN /BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Georgia Senate would bar state insurance coverage for abortions

Senate Republicans passed new restrictions to make it illegal for state-sponsored insurance plans to pay for abortions, a move praised by social conservatives but blasted by women’s advocate groups.

Senate Bill 98 makes no exception for rape or incest, only for medical emergencies involving the life of the mother.

The bill 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 Healthcare Act.

The bill’s sponsor, state Sen. Judson Hill, R- Marietta, said he’s concerned that taxpayer money could be used to help women having abortions, even though Gov. Nathan Deal ordered such a change administratively several months ago.

Under SB 98, women who use the state insurance plans would have to pay for abortions using private funds only, even if they make the decision for medical reasons. The bill essentially would write Deal’s administrative order into state law

SB 98 passed on a party line 35-18 vote. It now goes to the state House for consideration.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.