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Brian Kemp, Georgia governor, expected to sign ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill

May 7, 2019

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is expected to sign a bill Tuesday that would prevent abortions if doctors can detect a fetus’ heartbeat.

“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 would extensively harm or risk the life of the mother.

A fetus’ heartbeat can be detected at six weeks into pregnancy, before some women may know they are pregnant.

Supporters of the bill praised the legislation, with the author of the bill, Republican state Rep. Ed Setzler, saying the “barbaric procedure” of abortion should be replaced with other options, including adoption and birth control.

Opponents of the bill said the legislation”would ban safe, legal abortion and criminalize the most intimate decision women and couples make.”

Andrea Youngthe executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, told CNN on Monday the bill is in direct violation of Roe v. Wade and the organization is preparing a challenge in court.

Elisabeth Smith, chief counsel at the Center for Reproductive Rights, also criticized the bill in a statement, calling it “baffling unconstitutional.”

“Bans like this have always been blocked by courts. We will be suing Georgia to make sure this law has the same fate,” she said.

The bill passed Georgia’s state House with a vote of 92 to 78 in late March. Mr. Kemp was expected to sign the bill Tuesday morning.

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