Anti-abortion bills filed in Senate

Health insurance plans would be banned from providing abortion coverage under two bills filed Wednesday in the state Senate.

Senate Bill 434 would block qualified health plans from providing abortion coverage as allowed by federal law, except when the life of the mother is endangered. Sen. Judson Hill, R-Marietta, sponsored the bill and proposed calling it the "Federal Abortion Mandate Opt-Out Act."

The second bill, Senate Bill 438, would ban state employee health insurance plans from offering coverage for abortion services. Sen. Mike Crane, R-Newnan, is the bill's sponsor.

A bill to limit abortions is also being considered in the House. House Bill 954, sponsored by Rep. Doug McKillip, R-Athens, was filed last week and is what is commonly referred to as a "fetal pain" bill. It says that a fetus can react to pain at 20 weeks, and it seeks to outlaw abortions at or past 20 weeks of pregnancy.

The bill would allow exceptions for pregnancies that pose a serious risk to the physical health of the woman, but doctors would have to terminate the pregnancy in a way that "provides the best opportunity for the unborn child to survive."