- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a bill Tuesday that would prevent abortions if doctors can detect a fetus’ heartbeat.

The bill will “ensure that all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, learn and prosper in our great state,” Mr. Kemp said during a public signing ceremony.

The bill states: “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.

This can happen up to six weeks into pregnancy before a woman may know she is 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 Young the 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 is likely to lead to a legal battle that could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, where a larger conservative majority on the bench could lead to the repeal of the almost half-century old Roe v. Wade ruling.

Mr. Kemp acknowledged the bill would be “challenged in the court of law” but added Georgia would “always continue to fight for life.”

The bill passed Georgia’s state House with a vote of 92 to 78 in late March.

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