Speed Reads

Abortion Debate

Georgia governor signs 'heartbeat' bill, effectively outlawing abortion beyond six weeks

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Tuesday signed into law a "heartbeat bill," which would outlaw most abortions after a doctor is able to detect a fetal heartbeat.

The bill would effectively ban abortions beyond about six weeks of pregnancy, when a heartbeat usually becomes audible. Fetal heartbeats are often detectable before many women even know they're pregnant, CBS News reports.

Kemp boasted about having the "toughest abortion bill in the country," saying Georgia is state that "values life." The bill does include exceptions for rape, incest, and situations when the mother's health is at risk.

Opponents of the bill have called it draconian, The Washington Post reports, and they hope to launch a court battle that could go all the way to the Supreme Court. Organizations like NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia and Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates have launched a #ReclaimGeorgia campaign to mobilize activists and raise money to defeat the bill's legislative supporters in Georgia's elections next year.

This is not the first "six-week" abortion ban in the country, nor is it expected to be the last. In fact, some states likely view the tightening restrictions as part of a process toward a blanket ban. Tim O'Donnell