[Republicans took over the House after November's elections, making this year's legislative session the first time the party has run the show in both the House and Senate. When Democrats were in power, their leaders often avoided votes on controversial subjects, much to the dismay of many conservative lawmakers.
The abortion ban's chief sponsor, Republican Rep. Bobby Franklin, of Marietta, said he had hoped the new Republican majority would look more favorably on bills relating to conservative social issues.
Mr. Franklin said he believes the U.S. Supreme Court got it wrong in 1973's Roe. v. Wade case, which legalized abortion throughout the nation.
"From a practical standpoint, 32 years ago, someone whose life was terminated might have discovered a cure for cancer by now or some new invention that would make (Microsoft founder) Bill Gates look like a pauper," Mr. Franklin said.
The Republicans' refusal to embrace the bill highlights the juggling act the new GOP majority is wrestling with as it struggles to hold together its socially and fiscally conservatives wings.
"My concern about the unintended consequences of the bill is that it could have ramifications on women seeking fertility treatments," said Rep. Jill Chambers, R-Atlanta.
She said many women undergoing in vitro fertilization often have more than one embryo implanted at a time in the hopes of increasing the chances of carrying a child to term. Sometimes one or more of the embryos are aborted to prevent the mother from miscarrying the entire pregnancy. Ms. Chambers said she worried Mr. Franklin's bill would severely restrict in vitro pregnancies.]