Waking eyes now turn to Georgia's Republican government Brian Kemp and wondered when he could sign a "heartbeat" abortion ban that he supported and helped push through.
Georgia's House gave Friday's final approval the law to ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, sending the bill to Kemp. If it were adopted, it would be among the most stringent abortions in the United States
. The signing of the toughest abortion law in the country was a campaign's promise of Kemps during his run for governor last year.
"Georgia values life", Kemp said in a statement Friday. "The boldness of the legislature confirms our priorities and who we are as a state."
The measure was approved by a vote more than the majority needed to leave Parliament: 92 votes from the 1
Women in Georgia can currently seek abortion during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. A heartbeat can be detected in an embryo as early as six weeks before many women know they are pregnant.
The bill will make exceptions in case of rape and incest – but only when the woman first sends a police report – and to save the mother's life. It would also allow for abortions when a fetus is certainly not viable due to serious medical problems.
Republic Republic Rep. Ed Setzler, the author of the bill, said it was a "commonsense" measure seeking to balance "the difficult circumstances women find themselves in with a child's fundamental right to life."
Democratic Rep. Dar Shun Kendrick called the law a "death order" for women in Georgia and noted that the state already has one of the country's worst mother mortality.
Georgia's ACLU said it would challenge the law in court if it is signed by Kemp.
"Under the 50th Supreme Court's precedent, this bill is blatantly constitutional," Sean Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia, said in an interview Friday. "That's why every federal court that has considered such bans has knocked them down."
Legislation faced a ground for resistance, including democratic legislators and protesters who said about social media and personally, that legislators who voted for the bill would be targeting the 2020 elections.
A group of women in the Georgia Capitol protested the bill dressed as signs from "The Handmaid's Speech", showing a dystopian future in which women are controlled by the government and forced to reproduce. The activists in red coats and white bonnets have been an almost daily presence since Parliament first passed the action earlier this month.
Two influential groups, the Georgia Medical Association and the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians sent letters to lawmakers against the law.
The legislation was also opposed by Writers Guild of America, which represents television and film writers and several Hollywood celebrities who signed an open letter to Kemp in opposition. The letter was spearheaded by actress Alyssa Milano and includes Alec Baldwin, Amy Schumer, Gabrielle Union, Ben Stiller, Don Cheadle, Mia Farrow and others.
This is important because Georgia is a budding production center for television and movies with 455 productions shot in Georgia in the 2018 financial year, representing 2.7 billion. dollars in direct expenses in the state.
GOP legislators in Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina and Ohio pursue similar legislation, while Republican governors in Mississippi and Kentucky have recently signed a heartbeat abortion ban.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant signed a groundbreaking abortion ban on March 21, despite a federal judge's decision last year that struck down a less restrictive law that limited abortions there. Kentucky's law was temporarily blocked by a federal judge shortly after Republican Governor Matt Bevin signed on March 14 in response to an ACLU challenge. A state judge found Iowa's heartbeat abortion ban to be constitutional in January.
If signed and not blocked in court, Georgia law would enter into force on January 1, 2020.