PUBLIC POLICY EDUCATION
We keep a watchful eye on local, state and national news, regulations, and public policy impacting life-affirming work. Not only do our trainings include an overview of state law and how it impacts the work of Pregnancy Help Organizations in Georgia, we also make ourselves available at the state capitol, assisting lawmakers to better understand this work, the potential impact of proposed legislation, and practical application of current law.
The following legislation has been signed into law in the state of Georgia:
Working for Two Act (HB1090):
Mandates reasonable accommodations in the workplace for lactating new mothers – longer and more frequent breaks for new mothers to express breast milk in a space that is not a bathroom and a place to store expressed breast milk. Applies only to state employers.
Temporary Protective Order/Family Violence Protections Expansion (HB231):
Expands protective orders to women who are or have been pregnant with their domestic abuser’s child, even if they are not or have not been married, do not or have not lived together, and do not or have not had other children with their abuser.
Paid Parental Leave (HB146):
Allows for paid parental leave for parents who give birth to a child, adopt a child, or have a child placed through foster care in their care, up to 120 hours within a 12 month period.
FREEdom Acts (SB75 & HB236):
Allows victims of family violence to terminate their lease or rental agreement early *without penalty or extra fees*, if need be, to allow them to remain safe from their abuser. Also allows for victims of family violence to request security checks from local law enforcement to ensure their and their children’s safety from their abusers.
Gracie’s & Simon’s Law (HB128):
Simon’s Law prohibited do-not-resuscitate orders from being placed in a minor patient’s medical file without the written permission of at least one parent or legal guardian. Gracie’s Law prohibited discriminating against organ transplant recipients based on their mental or physical disability. These two bills offer comfort to women facing a difficult prenatal diagnosis – that there are laws protecting her rights as a mother and protecting her differently-abled child.
Betsy’s Law (SB116):
Created a new legal definition of Maternity Supportive Housing, as opposed to maternity homes (which are heavily regulated by the department, only serve women under age 21, and only until 6 weeks after birth) to allow non-profit organizations to offer free housing and wrap around services to pregnant and new mothers over the age of 18 and their minor children throughout pregnancy and through 18 months postpartum.
Expanded Pregnancy Medicaid (SB338):
Expanded pregnancy Medicaid coverage from 8 weeks postpartum through 12 months postpartum; also expanded services covered to include lactation support services.
Georgia's law, requiring informed consent for abortion was passed in 2005, updating abortion laws and specifying the information which must be provided to women seeking an abortion. No abortion shall be performed in Georgia without voluntary and informed consent from the woman having the procedure.
This information must be provided 24 hours prior to the abortion by the performing physician, a qualified agent, or the referring physician. For procedures performed in a hospital or surgical center, reporting the outcomes of this informed consent is also required to be submitted to the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).
The DPH collects these annual reports and posts the results, along with information on fetal development, free ultrasounds and the number of minors obtaining a judicial bypass of parental notification laws on their website here. You will also find a link to a copy of the law.
INTERESTED IN CONNECTING WITH YOUR LEGISLATORS?
While your work is not political, your local legislators need to know of the impact you are making in your community! We would love to assist you in building those relationships and educating them on this vital work in Georgia. Contact us to begin making these connections.
To learn who represents you, find your state and federal legislators on the state website here.
Georgia's General Assembly meets for Legislative Session begins the second Tuesday after the first Monday of January, each year, and runs for 40 Legislative Days. Typically, the legislature adjournes "sine die" at midnight on Day 40, near the beginning of April.
The US Congress (comprised of the US House and US Senate) is in session year 'round. More information about Members of the House and Senate, legislation and documentation can be found through the Library of Congress linked here.