Georgia becomes the fourth state to pass such legislation, which is already being challenged.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has signed the “heartbeat” bill into law, creating one of the strictest bans on abortion in the nation. The new law, which will go into effect in January 2020, would prohibit abortions after a baby’s heartbeat has begun. It is estimated that a baby’s heart develops about six weeks into the pregnancy.
Kemp, who campaigned on the promise of this “heartbeat” law, said he gave his approval“ to ensure that all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, learn and prosper in our great state.”
“Georgia is a state that values life,” Kemp said before putting his signature to the LIFE Act. “We stand up for those who are unable to speak for themselves.”
Fox News reports Kemp said that he recognizes that the bill will most likely be challenged, but he relied: “But our job is to do what is right, not what is easy. We will not back down. We will always continue to fight for life.”
Opponents to the measure have already vowed to take the law to court. AP news spoke to Sean Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia, who stated:
Under 50 years of Supreme Court precedent, this abortion ban is clearly unconstitutional. Every federal court that has heard a challenge to a similar ban has ruled that it’s unconstitutional.
For the last 50 years, the abortion industry has been protected by the ruling in the Supreme Court case of Roe v. Wade.
The passing of this Georgian abortion prohibition follows a 2019 trend which has seen similar abortion bans signed into law in Mississippi, Kentucky, and Ohio. There are 15 states in total which have introduced such legislation.