On Tuesday morning, May 7, the Governor of Georgia Brian Kemp will sign a pro-life law, known as the “Heartbeat Bill” which will ban all abortions at the first sign of a fetal heartbeat, about six weeks into a pregnancy.
It was first reported by Channel 2 Action News reporter Richard Elliot, who had confirmed that the Governor intends to sign the bill at the State Capitol tomorrow.
#Breaking Gov. Brian Kemp will sign the controversial Heartbeat Bill tomorrow morning, the Governor’s Office confirms. Developing…
— Richard Elliot (@RElliotWSB) May 6, 2019
Throughout his campaign for governor, Kemp vowed to create and sign a strict abortion bill once it passed the state’s legislature. On March 29, the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act (HB 481) passed the General Assembly with a vote of 92 to 78.
Those who support the governor and advocate for the bill believe it will send a strong pro-life message across the country. The legislation states: “No abortion is authorized or shall be performed if the unborn child has been determined to have a human heartbeat.” The bill will also allow unborn children to receive citizenship and pregnant mothers to then collect child support payments from the fathers, reported Channel 2 Action News.
The original author of the bill, Republican representative Ed Setzler, had remarked that abortion is a “barbaric procedure,” reported WRAL. The bill was adopted as a “commonsense” measure, after the governor chose Setzler’s version over his own, reported Channel 2 Action News.
The bill also faced opposition from pro-choice advocates who protested in front of the Capitol. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has threatened lawsuits to challenge the constitutionality of the law after it is signed by the governor. The ACLU statement is as follows: “If this abortion ban bill becomes law, we will see you in court,” adding that “A woman’s constitutional right to legal abortion has been settled law for nearly 50 years. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly in support of women and their right to make these decisions.”
The Epoch Times reported that in the aftermath of the bill’s passage, a list of almost fifty actors signed a letter started by Alyssa Milano which threatened to effectively boycott the state of Georgia. The letter stated that: “We cannot in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia if H.B. 481 becomes law,” warning that: “We can’t imagine being elected officials who had to say to their constituents, ‘I enacted a law that was so evil, it chased billions of dollars out of our state’s economy.’ It’s not the most effective campaign slogan, but rest assured we’ll make it yours should it come to pass.” However, there are also prominent defenders of the bill who responded, such as Ashley Bratcher. She stars in “Unplanned,” a movie about a Planned Parenthood director who became an anti-abortion activist.
Bratcher wrote a letter to Milano, Deadline reported, from “Mother to mother” which says: “Hollywood may be silent on women’s rights but Georgia, the new home of the movie industry, is making its voice heard loud and clear. I’m incredibly proud of my home state for taking a stand in the fight for life amidst backlash and dubious threats.”
“Alyssa, let me make something very clear to you. In Georgia, we care just as much about being pro-life as being pro-film. We don’t believe in putting a price tag on the value of a human life,” she added.