UPDATE — Tues. May 7, 2019: Gov. Brian Kemp signed the “fetal heartbeat bill” into law Tuesday morning, CBS News reports, telling those in attendance:
“Georgia is a state that values life. We protect the innocent, we champion the vulnerable, we stand up and speak for those that are unable to speak for themselves.”
The bill, a clear challenge to Roe v. Wade, will be challenged by The American Civil Liberties Union and the Center for Reproductive Rights before it goes into effect in January 2020.
Gov. Brian Kemp is poised to sign a “heartbeat bill” into law on Tuesday, banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, in one of the nation’s strictest abortion laws.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kemp is expected to sign the bill at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, although it is not clear where or what kind of ceremony will take place.
The signing of the bill is almost sure to cause a long legal battle that Republicans and other supporters hope will land in the U.S. Supreme Court as a challenge to Roe v. Wade, given that two new conservative justices currently sit on the Supreme Court, AJC notes.
Democrats, medical lobbies, and civil rights organizations have strongly opposed the bill, saying that it could force women to take desperate, dangerous steps to terminate a pregnancy, and could also put Georgia’s pro-business reputation at risk.
The new law would completely ban abortions once a doctor can detect a fetal heartbeat, which usually occurs at six weeks, before most women even know that they are pregnant. It is also a far step back from Georgia’s current law, which bans abortions after 20 weeks.