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Political Pulse: Hall officials react to fetal pain bill
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In case you missed it, there's been dust flying under the Gold Dome over an anti-abortion bill authored by Rep. Doug McKillip of Athens.

McKillip's bill, House Bill 954, seeks to keep most women from getting an abortion 20 weeks after fertilization unless the pregnancy jeopardizes their lives.

It's been dubbed the "fetal pain" bill, because McKillip wrote it under the premise that a fetus can feel pain 20 weeks into a pregnancy.

Democratic women answered the bill this week with their own proposal to outlaw vasectomies unless a man's life or health was in danger.

The bill has yet to progress in the Georgia House of Representatives, but there was an extensive hearing Tuesday in which medical professionals on both sides of the issues argued their cases.

Since we don't get a chance to report on everything that goes on in Atlanta, I thought I'd use this space today to share the thoughts of our local delegation on the bill.

Rep. Doug Collins has co-signed the bill, so it's a given that he's an avid supporter. So is Oakwood Republican Emory Dunahoo, Georgia's newest legislator from Hall County.

His predecessor and brother-in-law, James Mills, spent a lot of energy on anti-abortion legislation in the state House.

Dunahoo, too, was adamant on the campaign trail last year that he didn't support abortions of any kind. He still feels the same way.

"I support it 100 percent and would support it even further the other way," Dunahoo told me this week.
What he means is he'd support a bill that did away with any abortion, including in cases of rape and incest.

Dunahoo says his belief is about the opportunity a child has at a good life versus never having a chance at all.
And no matter the circumstances, Dunahoo said he believes "that baby has no choice."

When I asked Rep. Carl Rogers, the longest-serving member of Hall's delegation, and Sen. Butch Miller about House Bill 954, both Republicans declined to comment, saying they hadn't had a chance to read it.

Miller has been endorsed by Georgia Right to Life.

Rogers, too, considers himself "pro-life," but said he knew "physicians know a little bit more than I do" about when an abortion might be necessary.

Ashley Fielding is the senior political reporter for The Times. Share your thoughts, news tips and questions with her: