ATLANTA (CBS Atlanta/AP) — Former President Jimmy Carter believes Jesus Christ would not approve of abortions.
Carter made the comments during Thursday’s “The Laura Ingraham Show” while talking about how the Democratic Party should be more pro-life.
“I never have believed that Jesus Christ would approve of abortions and that was one of the problems I had when I was president having to uphold Roe v. Wade,” Carter told Ingraham on her nationally syndicated radio show, “and I did everything I could to minimize the need for abortions.”
The former commander in chief feels women should only have abortions when their life is at risk during a pregnancy or if they got pregnant due to rape or incest.
“I’ve signed a public letter calling for the Democratic Party at the next convention to espouse my position on abortion which is to minimize the need, the requirement for abortion and limit it only to women whose life are in danger or who are pregnant as a result of rape or incest,” Carter told Ingraham.
Carter believes that if Dems took this position that the party would win back conservatives it has lost over the abortion issue.
Carter’s comments came the day Georgia lawmakers struck a last-minute agreement to restrict abortions five months after women get pregnant.
Angry Democrats and women stood and turned their backs on bill supporters on the House and Senate floor, then left the chamber chanting in protest. The legislation now heads to the desk of Republican Gov. Nathan Deal, who generally favors limiting abortion.
The compromise was part of a long and chaotic day as lawmakers rushed to pass their bills before the midnight deadline for the General Assembly to adjourn for the year. In addition to the anti-abortion measure, the General Assembly passed measures that would ban assisted suicide, overhaul the state criminal sentencing laws, reduce unemployment benefits for workers and require that welfare applicants pass drug tests.
House Speaker David Ralston, R-Blue Ridge, praised lawmakers for passing a tax cut bill earlier in the session. Georgia has a 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
“What is important is we focused this session on the thing I think mattered most to Georgians, which was jobs,” he said, shortly after midnight. “That’s why when I think about this session, I’m going to think about tax reform. I’m going to think about the initiatives that will make Georgia more competitive.”
In the last hour of the session, most eyes were watching an anti-abortion bill sponsored by Rep. Doug McKillip, R-Athens, that earlier appeared to stall. It would have banned abortions 20 weeks after conception except in cases when a pregnancy threatened the life or health of the mother. But Senate lawmakers amended it with a big concession: Doctors would be allowed to perform abortions after the five-month mark if they diagnose a fatal defect in a fetus.
Lawmakers ultimately passed the more lenient version from the Senate.
“We are going to save a thousand babies when this bill goes into effect,” said McKillip, who did not take questions as the clock drew closer to midnight — the deadline for adjourning.
Five minutes after the Senate took up debate on the issue, the GOP leadership shut down the discussion and called for a vote over the objection of several Democrats, many of them women.
When the Senate passed the measure by a vote of 36-19, the Democratic women went to the front of the chamber and unraveled yellow “caution” tape in protest before storming out. In the halls of the Capitol, they declared that the women of Georgia would not stand for the vote and chanted, “Women will remember in November!”
“Men do not control us ladies,” said Sen. Valencia Seay, D-Riverdale. “We’ve been elected, just like they’ve been elected. We will not stand silently by. We are mad.”
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