Lawmakers pass ‘heartbeat’ bill in the Georgia House of Representatives

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SAVANNAH, Ga.,(WSAV)- Legislation some are calling the “heartbeat bill” passed in the Georgia House of Representatives. It would ban most abortions after the heartbeat in a fetus is detected.

Its official name is “living infants fairness and equality (life) act.” Currently, women in Georgia can get an abortion during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. 

However, the bill would restrict most abortions after the six week period, because the bill states “by six weeks gestation, the unborn child has a human heartbeat.”

But Barbara Luttrell, a Planned Parenthood Southeast advocate said this proposal is more of a ban instead of a restriction.

“For the majority of people who are not trying to get pregnant, they don’t know they’re pregnant at six weeks. That’s incredibly early along in the pregnancy and lawmakers know that and that’s their intent,” Luttrell said.

The bill does allow abortions in the case of a medical emergency. Luttrell said if the bill passes the  Senate and is signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, it would not mean fewer abortions.

She said it would only lead to women putting themselves at risk to get the procedure.

 “When you restrict access to the full section of reproductive healthcare and that includes access to safe legal abortion women suffer, health outcomes are worse, women die,” Luttrell explained.

Governor Kemp disagrees. He sees the passage as the measure of victory for unborn children.

“Let’s champion life today and ensure that all Georgians including the unborn have the chance to live, grow, and prosper,” Governor Kemp said. 

This proposal passed the state House of Representatives with a 93  to 73 vote.

Here is how our local lawmakers weighed in; Republican Jesse Petera voted yes, Democrat Craig Gordon voted no, Republican Ron Stephens did not vote, and Democrat Mickey Stephens was excused.

The bill will now move onto the Senate. If passed it then goes on to governor kemp for his signature

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