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Governor Sonny Perdue Signs Feticide Bill

Friday, April 28, 2006  Contact: Office of Communications 404-651-7774

Governor Sonny Perdue Signs Feticide Bill

ATLANTA – Today Governor Sonny Perdue signed Senate Bill 77, legislation creating additional criminal offenses to strengthen Georgia’s laws regarding causing harm to an unborn child at any stage of its development.

“One of government’s most basic responsibilities is public safety, and this obligation should apply to children at all stages of development,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “By creating new offenses for harming unborn children, we hope to protect the most vulnerable among us.”

SB77 expands the definition of feticide to include any stage of the child’s development in the womb. Death of an unborn child is feticide when a person willfully and without legal justification causes the death of an unborn child. The crime of feticide carries a life sentence.

SB77 adds the criminal offenses of voluntary manslaughter of an unborn child, assault of an unborn child and battery of an unborn child. Voluntary manslaughter is a felony with a sentence of one to twenty years. The assault and battery offenses are both punishable as a misdemeanor. Abortion, medical procedures and harm inflicted by the mother are not applicable to the newly created offenses.

SB77 was sponsored by Senator Renee Unterman in the State Senate and carried in the House by Representative Sue Burmeister.