ATLANTA, GA (WTOC) - Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has signed the controversial Heartbeat Bill (HB 481) into law on Tuesday, May 7.
The bill will ban most abortions at the first sign of a fetal heartbeat, approximately six weeks into a pregnancy. The current bill bans it after 20 weeks.
The law would include exceptions such as rape and incest - if the woman filed a police report - and to save the life of the mother. It also would allow for abortions when a fetus is determined not to be viable because of serious medical issues, grant citizenship to unborn children, and allow a mother to collect child support before birth.
The Georgia Senate passed the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, also known as the “heartbeat bill,” on March 22, 2019.
One Democratic state lawmaker says the bill is “poorly worded” and won’t survive a legal challenge. The American Civil Liberties Union has already filed one lawsuit.
Actress Alyssa Milano and others have threatened to boycott the state’s film industry over the law.
The ACLU says it’s preparing a court challenge to the measure. Supporters of the law hope it challenges Roe vs. Wade.
Several states have passed similar laws already, and most have been struck down in the courts. Mississippi and Ohio both passed heartbeat bills this year, and are also facing legal challenges. In South Carolina, a similar bill passed the house and is now in the senate. However, the bill has little chance of becoming law this year after missing a key legislative deadline. Lawmakers only have three days left to vote on it.
Governor Kemp signed the bill at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning at the State Capitol in Atlanta. Watch the video stream below:
If it’s not blocked in court, the bill would take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.