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Kemp set to sign ‘heartbeat’ bill May 7

At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, May 7, Gov. Brian Kemp will sign HB 481, also known as the “heartbeat” bill into law.

The anti-abortion bill reached its final passage with Georgia legislators on March 29. Kemp endorsed the bill in March, including when it passed in the Georgia state Senate.

“I applaud the members who supported the heartbeat bill’s passage for protecting the vulnerable and giving a voice to those who cannot yet speak for themselves,” Kemp said in a March 22 press release.

HB 481 prohibits abortion once a heartbeat is detected by a doctor, which typically happens around six weeks into a pregnancy. The current law in Georgia allows abortions up to 20 weeks.

Under the bill, women in Georgia would still legally be able to receive later abortions in situations involving rape or incest when the woman has filed a police report, if the mother’s life is in danger or when a fetus would be unable to live after birth.

Parents will also have the right to claim an embryo on their taxes as dependents once the heartbeat is detected.

The law, which is named the Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act, would take effect at the beginning of next year.