The new law, which was also signed into law in Ohio and Mississippi, is getting criticism from those in front of and behind the cameras in Georgia’s film and television industry, along with Hollywood.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill Tuesday that would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, his spokesman Cody Hall told CNN.
Currently in Georgia, women are allowed to undergo abortion procedures up to their 20th week of pregnancy. The bill Kemp signed bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — when many women don’t yet know they’re pregnant.
“No abortion is authorized or shall be performed if the unborn child has been determined to have a human heartbeat,” the bill states, unless the pregnancy risks the life or poses substantial and irreversible physical harm to the pregnant woman.
Proponents, such as the Republican author, state Rep. Ed Setzler, say abortion is a “barbaric procedure” and that many other options exist for women, including adoption and the “morning after” pill.
Critics, including the American Civil Liberties Union, say Georgia’s legislation “would ban safe, legal abortion and criminalize the most intimate decision women and couples make.”
Andrea Young, the executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, told CNN on Monday the organization is in the process of preparing a court challenge to the bill. She said the ACLU believes it’s a clear violation of Roe v. Wade.
One anti-abortion group told CNN on Monday it no longer supports so-called “heartbeat” bill because it does not go far enough.
Genevieve Wilson, executive director of Georgia Right to Life, said the group “believes in promoting social justice for all preborn children, without exception.”
The controversial bill includes some exceptions for situations of medical futility or where the mother’s health is at risk, as well as in cases of rape or incest before the 20 week mark, if an official police report has been filed.
Wilson said those exceptions are “discriminatory and wrong” and “creates a two-tiered framework for determining which children in the womb are allowed to live and which are not.”
She said the group supported the bill until the exceptions were added during the legislative process.
Georgia’s Republican-majority state House voted in favor of House Bill 481, called the Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act , with a vote of 92 to 78 on March 29.
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Article Courtesy of CNN and WEWS News 5 Cleveland
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Second Picture Courtesy of Jessica McGowan and Getty Images