Embryo bill passes Georgia Senate

Southern Voice Atlanta reports that lawmakers stripped an embryo creation bill of several clauses that could have made it more difficult for gays to create families before it was approved in a party line vote.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Preston Smith (R-Rome) boiled the bill down to two paragraphs that banned cloning, chimera human and animal experimentation, and the creation of embryos to create stem cells. Embryos should only be created “for purposes of initiating a human pregnancy … for the treatment of human infertility,” the bill states.

When asked about gay couples, who might not be technically infertile, but cannot have children without a third party, Smith told Southern Voice, “The bill does not speak to that.”

Under contentious questioning on the floor from Senators Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) and David Adelman (D-Decatur), Smith maintained that the bill would not affect any pregnancy regardless of the circumstances.

Without mentioning surrogacy options for gay parents, Adelman questioned if the bill would curtail using in vitro fertilization for women who aren’t infertile but may have other reasons for avoiding pregnancy, specifically mentioning women with heart problems.

“My concern is that this would limit the use of in-vitro only for the treatment of infertility,” he said.

Smith repeatedly said the bill only limited embryo creation for the purposes of creating a pregnancy, and would not restrict the use of surrogate mothers.