March 29, 2012 — Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R) on Tuesday rejected the Senate's changes to a bill (HB 954) that would ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy, essentially bringing the legislation to a standstill, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports (Quinn/Torres, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/27).
Earlier this week, the Senate amended the bill to allow exemption for "medically futile" pregnancies, which would apply if a fetus has congenital or chromosomal defects (Women's Health Policy Report, 3/27).
Ralston blamed the Senate for jeopardizing the bill. "The House passed a very strong bill and the Senate chose to amend it, and they apparently have not shown in their insisting on their position any willingness to go back and reconsider the House position," Ralston said.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle (R), who serves as president of the Senate, disagreed with the claim, saying, "At this point, the ball is in the House's court to agree or disagree and allow a conference committee to be appointed." He added that he is "ready to appoint conferees" (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/27).