Misinformation continues to spread about the new heartbeat law in Georgia.
The latest reports have to do with state prosecutors saying they will not prosecute women or abortionists who violate the law. But the law already excludes women from punishment for abortions.
The heartbeat law, which Gov. Brian Kemp signed earlier this month, bans abortions on an unborn baby after their heartbeat is detectable, around six weeks. It allows exceptions for rape, incest and threats to the mother’s life. The law includes punishments for abortionists who violate the law, but not for mothers who have abortions.
The ACLU is expected to sue to block the law before it goes into effect.
This week, several district attorneys in the Atlanta area said they will not prosecute abortionists for aborting unborn babies if the courts allow Georgia to enforce the law, according to the New York Post. Others said they will not prosecute women – something the law does not allow anyway.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the district attorneys serve the four most populated counties in the state: Fulton, Gwinnett, Cobb and DeKalb.
“As District Attorney with charging discretion, I will not prosecute individuals pursuant to [the law] given its ambiguity and constitutional concerns,” DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston told the news outlet.
“As a woman and mother, I am concerned about the passage and attempted passage of laws such as this one in Georgia, Alabama, and other states,” she added.
Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said he will not prosecute any women under the law, as did a spokesman for Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, according to the report.
However, Cobb County acting District Attorney John Melvin said he would consider charging doctors or nurses who abort unborn babies. He said he also would not prosecute women, the report continues.
“Of larger concern are prosecutors who indicate that they will selectively prosecute and/or ignore their oath to enforce the laws of the State of Georgia,” Melvin said.
Georgia state Rep. Ed Setzler, the lead sponsor of the bill, said his goal is to protect unborn babies, who already are unique, living human beings by six weeks of pregnancy.
“Protecting life in the womb with a human heartbeat is what science, law and human conscience would suggest,” Setzler said.
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.
Recently, a federal judge blocked Kentucky’s new heartbeat bill. In January, a judge also declared Iowa’s heartbeat law unconstitutional. North Dakota and Arkansas passed heartbeat bills several years ago, but federal courts struck down their 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