So far, women in Georgia have been allowed to undergo the abortion procedure but only up to the twentieth week of pregnancy. Starting from January 1, 2020, the bill the Governor of Georgia signed will ban abortions in all cases where a fetal heartbeat can be detected. This happens in the sixth week of pregnancy when most women don’t even realize they’re pregnant.
Governor Kemp states that this bill is both simple and powerful. He claims that life has absolute value and every life matters. Kemp realizes the fact that some individuals may challenge this bill in the courthouse. He stays firm in his decision to do not what is easy but what is right. Kemp adds that he will always fight for a new life.
There will be some exceptions here, such as in the case of irreversible physical damage to a woman or a high-risk pregnancy. State representative Ed Setzler, a Republican author, is of the opinion that abortion represents a “barbaric procedure.” He adds that there are numerous other options for women, like giving the child up for adoption or the “morning-after pill.”
On the other side, ACLU and many other critics believe that this law will ban a legal and safe way to undergo an abortion; it will criminalize the most intimate thing that should concern only the woman.
Four women wearing red cloaks, an homage to “The Handmaid’s Tale,” expressed their rage among many protesters outside the Capitol. The four women simply stood silently holding signs, including one which read “Trust Women.” Yet another protester, Gloria Tatum, held a sign which said: “Say no to Republican and anti-women sexist law.” She said that women were not going to take that. Tatum, who is 76 and from Decatur, Georgia, also noted that there would be a revolution in the country like they had never seen before simply because the people would refuse to go back.
Planned Parenthood and ACLU Believe the Legislation Will Be Challenged
The executive director of the ACLU Andrea Young says that this organization is preparing to challenge this infamous bill in court. She believes that this legislation clearly violates Roe v. Wade.
Ms. Young says that modern women can lead normal lives only in a state which allows them to decide whether they want to start a family and when. The state of Georgia cannot afford to turn its back on women’s fundamental health rights. Young is ready to commit to the cause of defending women’s self-determination, health, and rights.
Furthermore, CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, Staci Fox calls out the state’s Governor, with the words “We will see you in court.” Fox advises the lawmakers who supported this bill that people are coming for their seats.
Anti-Abortion Group Withdrew Their Support of the Law
One of the anti-abortion groups shared with CNN that they no longer support the “heartbeat” bill. Apparently, it’s because the bill doesn’t go far enough.
The executive director of Georgia Right to Life, Genevieve Wilson says that their group believes in the promotion of social justice for each preborn child without exceptions.
However, the bill lists some exceptions, i.e., in the case of medical futility or if the mother’s life is at risk, an abortion can be performed after the sixth-week mark. There is also a widely-disputed theme of rape cases and incest. In these situations, abortion is only allowed if there is an official police report. Wilson claims these exceptions are more than wrong and discriminatory. Moreover, they make a two-tiered rule for determining which child is to live and which is not. She adds that the group supported the bill up until the point the exceptions were added.
Georgia’s mostly Republican state House went forward with the House Bill 481, naming it the Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act. The bill was passed on March 29 with a 92 to 78 vote.
Georgia Isn’t the Only State With Such Legislation
The case of Georgia isn’t lonely. Many other states have passed bills similar to this one. Governor of Mississippi Phil Bryant signed a bill in March. The Mississipi bill bans abortions from the moment doctors can detect a fetal heartbeat. In Ohio, Governor Mike DeWine passed similar legislation not long after Mississipi.
Considering all of the involved parties, from lawmakers to courts and ordinary people objecting abortion laws, these controversial bills are not easy to put into practice.
This Could Affect Georgia’s Film Industry
Many celebrities oppose the bill. And Alyssa Milano has perhaps become one of its fiercest opponents. She urges production companies to stop filming in Georgia if this bill gets enacted. In March, she tweeted that about 20 companies were shooting their features in this state. Milano concludes that Hollywood should avoid Georgia and shouldn’t help its economy anymore.
Apart from her, the Writers Guild of America voice their concerns over this bill. According to them, it would turn Georgia into an extremely hostile place. They believe that this move would result in the film and television industry leaving the state altogether and not bringing any new productions there.