Skip to comments.July ushers in new Ga. laws - (Embryo Adoption)
Posted on 07/01/2009 8:10:12 AM PDT by jacknhoo
July ushers in new Ga. laws By GREG BLUESTEIN ATLANTA The beginning of July ushers in a slew of new laws in Georgia, including a measure that seeks to celebrate the Confederacy while also honoring a civil rights leader, new rules praised by abortion opponents and a pair of laws long sought by prosecutors. Those measures and dozens of others are set to take effect on Wednesday, the first day of July. And while some of the new laws aren't among the most high-profile legislation, many are the result of hard-fought legislative battles that could have profound impact.
Prosecutors groups, for one, are thrilled that a measure allowing relatives and friends of victims to testify through prerecorded audio or video is taking effect.
Georgia law has long required the victims to testify in person and without any emotion about the crime's impact, requirements that were sometimes too stiff for grieving family members. The new law, supporters say, will mean that they will not be silenced again.
Gov. Sonny Perdue, who signed the bill into law in April, said it would give a victim's supporters "the opportunity for their voices to be heard in a court of justice where all the facts and all the problems can be revealed to those that make those decisions."
Victims advocates are also cheering a second measure that gives victims who have suffered a mental injury broader access to state-funded counseling and therapy services. The law previously extended that help only to victims who suffered a physical injury.
Georgia families who use donated embryos to have a child will have new legal protections under a law going into effect that is designed to prevent an embryo donor from later claiming the child born from that embryo to another family.
Opponents worry it could ultimately be used to restrict abortions, but supporters say it would clear the way for the adoption of more unused embryos by protecting families from future litigation.
Jim Beck, president of the Georgia Christian Coalition, says the measure is a signal the state is moving closer to acknowledging an embryo is life.
Atlanta's cash-strapped subway system could get a boost under a new law that allows transit systems to allow food and beverages to be consumed in rail and bus stations - effectively allowing MARTA to earn more revenue by selling food and drinks.
"This will significantly help MARTA and other transit systems around Georgia bring in additional revenues during these difficult economic times," said state Sen. Gloria Butler, a Stone Mountain Democrat who sponsored the measure.
A measure that tightens requirements on Georgia's boll weevil eradication program takes effect, as does a law that would allow children of active duty military personnel stationed in Georgia to meet the residency requirements of the state's popular HOPE scholarship program.
Perhaps the most unique bill is an odd two-for-one that designates the month of April as "Confederate History and Heritage Month" in Georgia. The measure's supporters said it would boost the state's tourism industry and help attract visitors to Georgia's Civil War sites.
It drew surprisingly little opposition for black legislative leaders, who may have been swayed by new language added during the legislative session's final hours that designated Savannah's Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum an official state civil rights museum.
It’s still an open question. The general feeling is that it might encourage abortion by making people feel that their “extra” embryos will be adopted. At the same time, the fact is that adopting these embryos does save the lives of these babies.
My daughter has been looking into this and we have done a fair amount of research on it.
I don’t understand how the church can be against embryo adoption. I understand their concern, but their position should be quite clear. If life begins at conception (it does) then embryo adoption should be considered no different than adoption after birth. No one says that the practice of adoption encourages people to get pregnant unnecessarily, and the church is very supportive of the adoption practice. How can the adoption of an embryo be any different?
Well, I would say the same, and there are many Catholic theologians who agree. Yet I do think there is a legitimate concern that once you get into tacitly approving an illicit process (artifical insemination, which results in multiple embryos) it could be misconstrued.
I think the Church should deal with this and formulate a standard position.