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Sun Mar 31, 2019, 12:17 PM


Georgia Is Latest State to Pass Fetal Heartbeat Bill as Part of Growing Trend

By Sarah Mervosh March 30, 2019

Tensions over a growing movement to ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat can be detected intensified this week as lawmakers in Georgia passed a bill that stands to become one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country.

The bill, which narrowly passed in the Republican-controlled legislature on Friday, is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican. The measure generally prohibits the procedure after doctors can discern a fetal heartbeat, a milestone that happens around six weeks of pregnancy — before some women know they are pregnant.

Georgia’s so-called fetal heartbeat bill passed as momentum for similar proposals is building in several Republican-controlled state capitals. The governors in Mississippi and Kentucky signed fetal heartbeat measures into law in recent weeks, and other states — including Florida, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Texas — are expected to approve similar measures this year.

Abortion opponents have said that is part of the intent: to land a new case before the Supreme Court, which became more conservative with the appointment of Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh last year, lending urgency to the question of whether Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion legal nationwide, could be overturned or weakened.


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