Georgia Governor Kemp enacted the state’s “Fetal Heart Rate Bill,” a bill that. This is something that usually happens between five and six weeks of pregnancy in a woman, before many women know they are pregnant.
Abortion rights advocates have called the bill an effective ban on abortion in the state.
“Georgia is a state that values life,” Kemp said when signing the bill Tuesday morning. “We protect the innocent, we stand up for the vulnerable, we stand up and speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves.”
State Representative Ed Setzler also spoke during the signing of the bill on Tuesday and called the legislation a “common sense matter”, saying that a preschooler would call an embryo of six weeks old baby. He also said the legislation “tries to strike a balance” between “the best interests of women who find themselves in difficult circumstances” and what he called “the right thing”.
The bill appears to be a violation of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court ruling that protects a woman’s right to an abortion until the fetus is viable, which typically occurs between 24 and 25 weeks. The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights have vowed to challenge the legislation long before it goes into effect in January 2020.
“This law is incredibly unconstitutional,” Elisabeth Smith, chief counsel for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in an email Tuesday morning to CBS News. “Bans like this have always been blocked by the courts. We will sue Georgia to make sure this law meets the same fate.”
Upon signing the bill, Kemp acknowledged that the bill would likely be “challenged in court,” but said Georgia “will always continue to fight for life.”
So-called “heart rate bills” like Georgia’s have become a popular tool among states seeking to reduce access to abortion. At least 15 states introduced similar legislation this year, and the governors of Kentucky, Mississippi, and Ohio enacted theirs. None of these laws have been successfully enacted, according to reproductive health research organization Guttmacher Institute.
Emboldened by the arrival of Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, states have introduced and passed more anti-abortion laws than ever before, said Elizabeth Nash, head of state affairs at Guttmacher.
“The upsurge in attempts to ban abortion in the early stages of pregnancy underscores that the end goal of politicians and anti-abortion activists is to ban all abortions – at any time during pregnancy and for whatever reason. either, “Nash said in an email to CBS. News Monday.
This year alone, state lawmakers introduced more than 250 bills restricting access to abortion, according to a study conducted by Planned Parenthood and Guttmacher last month. And six-week abortion bans, like Georgia’s, have increased 62%, according to the study.
Many of those restrictions have been blocked by federal judges, the first step in a long legal battle to bring the legislation to the United States Supreme Court, Nash said. States can then appeal the decision, and if they are denied again, they can submit another appeal to the Supreme Court, which can choose whether or not to take the case, according to Nash. For conservative lawmakers interested in nullifying or eroding access to abortion, this avenue of appeal is the only way to substantially reduce Roe v. Wade, who is protected by the US Constitution.
The Georgian bill has come under scrutiny by the. A last month, who was in Atlanta at the time filming the Netflix show “Insatiable”, was signed by more than 100 celebrities, including , Alec Baldwin and Judd Apatow. Milano wrote that if the bill passes, “we cannot in good conscience continue to recommend that our industry stay in Georgia.”
The letter also noted that if members boycotted filming in Georgia, “the cost would be more deeply felt by residents of Georgia – including those who work directly in the film and television industry, and those who benefit from the benefits. many millions of dollars it spills into the local economy.
At an event in March, Kemp said the the entertainment industry employs 200,000 Georgians and generated over $ 60 billion in economic activity for the state.
Ahead of Tuesday’s legislation, Georgian politicians have already passed a slew of abortion access laws, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Women in Georgia are required to wait 24 hours between requesting and obtaining an abortion in the state, and minors are required to notify their parents.