Starting Jan. 1, Georgia will have one of the strictest abortion laws in the country, if it survives legal challenges from abortion rights advocates and civil rights groups.
Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed HB 481, the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act Tuesday morning. Once the law takes effect, doctors would not be allowed to perform abortions after a heartbeat is detected, which is usually around six weeks into pregnancy. Current Georgia law allows abortions up to 20 weeks.
Exceptions would be made if a pregnancy is deemed ‘medically futile,’ when the life of the mother is at risk or if a police report is filed in the case of rape or incest. Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said this bill would effectively ban abortions for women in Georgia.
“Let’s be clear, women are highly unlikely to even know they’re pregnant at six weeks,” Fox said in an interview. “I don’t think we should pretend this is anything but an all-out ban on abortion in Georgia.”