Georgia passes “Heartbeat” Bill

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By: Nina Kanani | Writer

May 10, 2019

On Tuesday May 7, Georgia’s Republican Governor Brian Kemp, signed legislation that bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected; this can occur as early as six weeks. His bill, known as the “fetal heartbeat” bill, seeks to outlaw abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. Originally, the Supreme Court’s landmark “Roe v. Wade” decision gave a woman the right to choose whether or not to terminate pregnancy, and men were frequently part of the decision-making process as well. It is now the most extreme abortion ban in the United States, and many are completely against the idea not only because it imposes severe limitations on reproductive rights, but it also subjects women who get illegal abortions to life imprisonment and the death penalty.

“At six weeks, most people aren’t even aware they are pregnant yet,” senior Sofie Sarpa said. “I worry most for the young girls that this bill will affect.”

In response to the bill, many celebrities are openly sharing their opinions against it. Talk show host Busy Philipps condemned the decision on her E! talk show, “Busy Tonight.” She opened up about her abortion at age fifteen and how enacting such a law had her fearing for women and girls. Women who are residents in Georgia can go to jail even if they travel out of state for an abortion.

“The consequences of not following the bill are way too extreme,” senior Isabel Grigg said. “If women don’t even know they are pregnant yet and want to terminate their pregnancy, they can possibly spend the rest of their lives in prison.”

Under the new law, different murder charges apply to women who terminate their pregnancies in different ways. A woman who self-terminates will have technically committed murder and could be imprisoned for life or face the death penalty. Those who get an abortion from a health care provider could be found guilty of being a party to murder, which is punishable by life in prison. With the millions of people against this bill, it is difficult to determine whether or not the controversy will cause a reversal, or if the legislation will remain. 

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