The Georgia House has voted in favor of HB 481 dubbed the “Heartbeat Bill” in a vote of 92 to 78. The bill will outlaw abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, as early as six weeks gestation.
The bill passed in the Georgia Senate on March 22 before returning to the House with changes. Now it will head to the desk of Gov. Brian Kemp who has said he will sign it. It, unfortunately, includes exceptions for children conceived in rape or incest who will continue to be at risk of being legally killed up to 20 weeks, as is the current limit for abortions in the state.
The ACLU of Georgia has said they will challenge the bill, and companies such as Amazon and Coca-Cola have come out against it. Dozens of celebrities have threatened to take the film industry out of Georgia should the governor sign the bill into law. Gov. Kemp, to his credit, has said he will not back down to these bullies.
“Us sticking up for our Georgia values and protecting life is not going to create a bad business environment in Georgia, I can promise you,” he told WTOC and he said he would absolutely sign the bill.
When signed, the law will become one of the strictest pro-life laws in the country, but Gov. Kemp said he is sure it will survive litigation right up to the Supreme Court. A federal judge recently blocked a similar law in Kentucky just hours after it was signed. Mississippi’s governor also signed a “heartbeat bill” into law last week.
“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,” Kemp said Friday. “Our efforts to protect life do not end here. We must work to ease the adoption process, find loving homes for those in our foster care system, and protect the aging and vulnerable. Together, we will ensure that all Georgians are safe and have the opportunity to live, grow, learn, and prosper.”
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