Georgia House Passes Bill to Ban Abortions Once Unborn Baby’s Heart Begins Beating

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Mar 8, 2019   |   11:52AM   |   Atlanta, GA

Georgia House lawmakers passed a bill late Thursday night to protect unborn babies from abortion once their heartbeats are detectable.

WSB-TV 2 in Atlanta reports the bill passed in a 93-73 vote after an intense, emotional debate on the House floor.

Georgia House Bill 481, the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (L.I.F.E.) Act, would ban abortions on an unborn baby after their heartbeat is detectable, around six weeks. The bill includes exceptions for rape, incest and threats to the mother’s life.

Pro-abortion Democratic lawmakers turned their backs on state Rep. Ed Setzler, the author of the bill, at one point in the debate, according to the Gainesville Times. Others walked off the floor while he was speaking.

At another point, state Rep. Renitta Shannon, a pro-abortion Democrat, refused to yield the floor and had her microphone cut off.

Shannon told reporters after she walked away: “But I’d like to add that we do not do this to men, so this is about not trusting women. We don’t do this to men. We don’t pass condescending bills, and that’s what this is.”

Seltzer said his goal is to protect unborn babies, who already are unique, living human beings by six weeks of pregnancy.

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“It seeks to recognize that the child in the womb that is living distinct from their mother has a right of life that is worthy of protection,” he said.

A local news reporter captured a photo of the divisive debate and posted it on Twitter:

Gov. Brian Kemp, a pro-life Republican, endorsed the bill Thursday and promised to sign it if it reaches his desk.

“This is a huge step but we have more work to do in the Senate and I look forward to working with them to get where I can sign this legislation,” Kemp said after the vote.

This winter, pro-life lawmakers have introduced a number of heartbeat bills including in Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

Some pro-lifers have renewed hope that the new conservative-majority U.S. Supreme Court will uphold an abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade. Others, however, are hesitant because of concerns about losing the court battle and being forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.

In January, a judge declared Iowa’s heartbeat law unconstitutional. North Dakota and Arkansas passed heartbeat bills several years ago, but federal courts struck down both laws as well.

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said the following about its ruling on the six-week abortion ban: “Because there is no genuine dispute that (North Dakota’s law) generally prohibits abortions before viability — as the Supreme Court has defined that concept — and because we are bound by Supreme Court precedent holding that states may not prohibit pre-viability abortions, we must affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs.”

There is more hope that the U.S. Supreme Court may consider an abortion ban, but it is difficult to say if it would for certain – especially after Chief Justice John Roberts recently sided with the liberal justices on an abortion case.