Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a bill on May 7 outlawing abortions when a doctor can detect a heartbeat in the unborn child.
Kemp became the fifth governor across the country to sign such a bill since last year, joining the governors of Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, and Iowa. Republicans in 10 other states have introduced similar bills.
The Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act allows for later abortions in medical emergencies. In cases of rape or incest, the woman would be required to file an official police report.
“Georgia is a state that values life. We protect the innocent. We champion the vulnerable. We stand up and speak for those unable to speak for themselves,” Kemp said before signing the bill.
Courts have blocked the Iowa and Kentucky laws, and the others face legal challenges. The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia has vowed to sue to stop this law. Supporters of the right to life for unborn children hope the Supreme Court takes up one of the cases on appeal.
President Donald Trump appointed two conservative justices to the Supreme Court, improving the chances of limiting or overturning Roe v Wade, a decision by the top court which struck down state-level abortion restrictions.
Abortionists see the so-called “heartbeat bills” as virtual bans because heartbeats can be detected in unborn children as early as six weeks, when mothers may not be aware they are pregnant.
Rachel Guy, 20, introduced Kemp before he signed the bill. The woman’s mother was told to abort Guy by three different doctors, but did not take their advice.
“I thank God for this day,” Guy said. “Every day I fight and I pray that abortion ends but I truly never thought that we would see a day like this. I thank God for a governor who stands up for the most vulnerable citizens in our state.”
The chasm between Democrats and Republicans has widened since Trump’s election. While Republicans are pushing bills to protect unborn children and babies who survive abortions, Democrats in Congress have blocked a measure which would protect babies born alive in the course of an abortion. North Carolina Gov. Ralph Northam openly defended an option of killing newborn infants contingent on a discussion between the mother and the doctors.
State Senator Renee Unterman led a multi-year effort to pass legislation to protect unborn children in Georgia. She was moved to tears as Kemp signed the bill. She said the law is the “culmination of my political career.”
“I’ve spent a lifetime as a former nurse and a former social worker in the business of saving lives. I’ve spent that whole time as a legislator waiting to get to today. It is very, very emotional,” Unterman said.
“I believe in life and I’ve believed in life from the very beginning and that’s what’s given me the courage to persevere.”
Lila Rose, the founder of Live Action, a pro-life non-profit, called the signing of the bill “a huge step forward for life!”
Reuters contributed to this report.
From The Epoch Times