The Georgia House of Representatives approved a bill that would effectively ban most abortions in the state by the beginning of 2020.
The bill, titled HB481, or the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, would bar women from terminating their pregnancies after a fetal heartbeat is first detected, which can be as early as around the six-week mark.
That is a point prior to which most women are even aware they are pregnant. If passed, this legislation would be one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the U.S. and an affront to a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion.
Gov. Brian Kemp, a first-term Republican, is all but certain to sign the bill once the legislative session ends on Tuesday. Kemp released a statement after the bill passed the House on Friday, praising the legislature for daring to take such an aggressive step to limit abortions in the state.
“The legislature’s bold action reaffirms our priorities and who we are as a state,” Kemp tweeted Friday.
Georgia values life. We stand up for the innocent and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. The legislature’s bold action reaffirms our priorities and who we are as a state. I thank these lawmakers for their leadership and applaud their undeniable courage. #gapol
What happens if a woman has an ectopic pregnancy or her pregnancy fails? What if abortion is the only thing that will save a woman’s life, or doesn’t she matter?7413:06 – 29 Mar 2019Twitter Ads information and privacy27 people are talking about this
The country’s major human rights group, the American Civil Liberties Union, vowed a legal challenge.
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“If Gov. Kemp signs this abortion ban bill into law, the ACLU has one message: we will see you in court,” said Andrea Young, ACLU’s executive director for Georgia.
Thirteen US states have studied or approved versions of the “heartbeat bill” this year.
“Call to Stop the Unconstitutional 20-Week Abortion Ban Bill | American Civil Liberties Union” ( http://twitthat.com/UowU3 )15:09 – 29 Jan 2018Twitter Ads information and privacySee Richard Lazzara’s other Tweets
Although judges in Kentucky and Iowa blocked such laws, the aim of those who promote the legislation is to reach the Supreme Court and reverse the right to abortion at the national level, according to Planned Parenthood, the largest organization supporting abortion rights.
The US Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in 1973 with its decision in Roe v. Wade.
Since taking office, President Donald Trump has named two justices to the Supreme Court who opposes abortion, leading activists who support abortion rights to fear that Roe v. Wade could be overturned.
Georgia is an important destination for film and television production, but dozens of Hollywood celebrities threatened to take their business elsewhere if the law takes effect.
“We will do everything in our power to move our industry to a safer state for women” if the bill is approved, said a letter to lawmakers signed by Alyssa Milano, Alec Baldwin, Amy Schumer, Ben Stiller, Sarah Silverman, Mia Farrow and others.
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