Atlanta, GA (CBS46) Georgia lawmakers have passed House Bill 481, the controversial heartbeat bill which bans most abortions at six weeks.
The bill will ban abortions after a doctor detects a heartbeat in the womb. If the bill passes, Georgia would have one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.
The bill narrowly passed the House earlier in the session and then passed in the Senate.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp tweeted the following statement after the passing of the bill in the House:
“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.
“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.”
Current Georgia law says a woman cannot abort her unborn baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
This bill would make most abortions illegal in Georgia if a doctor can detect a heartbeat in the womb. Typically, that happens in the sixth week of pregnancy.
Republican lawmakers are facing pressure from both sides. One pro-life group says it doesn't go far enough.
Pro-choice groups say it's essentially an abortion ban because many women don't realize they're pregnant by six weeks.
The issue has attracted numerous demonstrators to the Georgia capitol, some against it and some for it, like Georgia mom Jessica Daniel.
“Humanity just supersedes whatever those choices that so many people think are out there,” Daniel told CBS46. “There are many choices, but our choice is to give life.“
Sean Young with the ACLU of Georgia says if the bill receives final passage in the House and then the governor signs it into law, he'll see the governor in court.
“The U.S. Supreme Court has been clear. A woman has a constitutional right to an abortion before the point of viability, and there is not a single scientist or even politician who will assert that a six-week-old embryo can survive outside of a uterus,” said Young.
We’re following the story and will have updates as new information becomes available.
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