Georgia Abortions Drop by Half, Heartbeat Law Saves 1,800 Babies a Month

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 5, 2023   |   10:56AM   |   Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia heartbeat law has been saving as many as 1,800 unborn babies from abortion every month since it went into effect last year.

State health department data obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution shows a nearly 50-percent drop in abortions, going from about 4,000 per month in the first half of 2022 to about 2,176 per month after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson.

Prior to the law, about 35,000 unborn babies were aborted annually, according to state health department data.

In 2019, Georgia passed a law prohibiting most abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. The law allows exceptions for cases of rape, incest, fatal fetal diagnoses and situations where the mother’s life is at risk.

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After the Dobbs decision on June 24, 2022, Georgia began enforcing the life-saving law. A court temporarily blocked enforcement in November, but the Georgia Supreme Court reversed the decision a few weeks later.

Abortion facilities told the newspaper that they still are busy. They continue provide abortions up to about six weeks of pregnancy and later in limited circumstances. According to the report, “As of June 8, there have been 199 abortions performed after a doctor could detect fetal cardiac activity since the Georgia law took effect …”

Kwajelyn Jackson, executive director of the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Atlanta, said they do 55 to 60 abortions per week.

“We’re not fully at pre-Dobbs volume, but what we have seen is that people are making a way out of no way — and they’re persistent,” Jackson told the newspaper.

Data from other states also indicates that pro-life laws are saving lives. A new study by Johns Hopkins found that nearly 10,000 more babies were born in Texas after its heartbeat law went into effect in 2021.

Some states where killing unborn babies in abortions is legal have seen sharp increases in abortions, primarily because of pregnant mothers traveling from other states. But others, including Indiana and Iowa, have seen abortion numbers drop while they fight in court to enforce their pro-life laws. In Iowa, for example, a June report from the pro-abortion Society of Family Planning found an average of 48 fewer abortions per month from April 2022 to December 2022. That amounts to about 432 babies saved from abortion.

Laws are just one of the ways that pro-life advocates are working to protect lives. Another strategy is to increase resources to help families through government aid, tax credits, pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes, scholarships, baby showers, fundraisers and more. MississippiMissouriTexasTennessee and other pro-life states have been doing this.

In Georgia, the heartbeat law does not just ban elective abortions; it also allows parents to claim unborn babies as dependents on their taxes and include the unborn baby in census data. Additionally, mothers may collect child support for pregnancy and delivery costs from the father prior to the baby’s birth.