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Ga. legislative session nears end
Senate proposal expands abortion reporting requirement
Georgia state seal W

ATLANTA - Georgia lawmakers are barreling toward the end of the 40-day legislative session with several closely watched bills still under review.

Here's a look at key developments Monday at the Capitol:

Abortion records

All Georgia doctors performing abortions would have to report the number of procedures they do each year to the state under a bill passed by the Senate.

The proposal expands a 2005 law requiring only doctors who perform abortions at licensed abortion facilities to take that step.

Several Republican senators proposed the change on the chamber floor, adding it to a bill requiring that court officials report detailed information about girls younger than 17 seeking a judge's exemption to Georgia's requirement of parental notification before an abortion.

Sen. Bruce Thompson, R-White, said medical facilities other than those specifically licensed as abortion providers already perform the procedures and should have to meet the same reporting requirements.
The measure now returns to the House.
Sen. Nan Orrock, D-Atlanta, said the proposal will have a "chilling effect" on judges who hear the petitions and could harm young women requesting an exemption because of abuse by a parent or legal guardian.

"This is another step to making safe and legal abortion harder and harder to obtain and thereby fueling the illegal abortion industry," Orrock said.

'ABLE' account

People with disabilities could set up a tax-free account to cover expenses under a bill that has cleared the Senate.

Senators voted unanimously in favor on Monday.

The accounts could be used for medical care, housing, transportation and other needs. Advocates say the bill, known as the "ABLE Act," will help people with disabilities save money without risking eligibility for government aid including Medicaid.

Only people with disabilities that appear before age 26 would be eligible to create an account.

The bill returns to the House.

Inspired by Jimmy Carter

A bill inspired by former President Jimmy Carter's treatment for cancer cleared the Senate and is headed to the governor's desk.

The bill prevents insurance companies from limiting coverage of drugs for stage 4 cancer patients.

Carter, now 91, announced in August that he had been diagnosed with skin cancer that had spread to his brain and would begin receiving doses of Keytruda. The newly approved drug helps his immune system seek out cancer cells appearing in his body.

Carter said this month that he no longer needed to receive the drug treatments.

Rep. Mike Cheokas, a Republican from Americus who sponsored the bill, has said no one facing cancer that has spread should have medical treatment options limited by insurance providers.



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