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Biased Counseling & Mandatory Delay

A woman may not obtain an abortion until at least 24 hours after the attending physician, the referring physician, or the physician's agent tells her, by telephone or in person:  (1) the medical risks of the particular procedure; (2) the probable gestational age of the fetus; and (3) the medical risks of carrying the pregnancy to term.

In addition, at least 24 hours prior to the abortion, in person or by telephone, the woman must receive from the attending or referring physician or physician's agent, a state-mandated lecture that must include:  (1) that medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and neonatal care; (2) that the "father" is liable for child support; and (3) that she has the right to review state-prepared materials on a state-sponsored website that describe the fetus, list agencies that offer alternatives to abortion, and contain information on fetal pain.  If the woman chooses to review materials in printed form, they must be given to her at least 24 hours before the abortion or mailed to her, by certified mail, at least 72 hours before the abortion.

The state-prepared materials must:  (1) provide a geographically indexed, comprehensive list of public and private agencies and services, including adoption agencies, available to assist the woman through pregnancy, upon childbirth, and while the child is dependent, or include a 24-hour toll-free hotline that may be called to obtain such a list; (2) describe with pictures the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus at two-week gestational increments, including the possibility of survival; (3) describe the commonly employed abortion procedures, the medical risks associated with each, the "possible detrimental psychological effects of abortion," and the medical risks of carrying a pregnancy to term; and (4) give information on fetal pain concerning fetuses of 20 weeks or more gestational age and state that anesthesia is routinely administered to fetuses of 20 weeks gestational age or older who undergo prenatal surgery.

Ga. Code Ann. §§ 31-9A-1, -2, -5, -7, -8 (Enacted 2005), -3, -4, -6 (Enacted 2005; Last Amended 2012).

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