ATLANTA (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has announced that he will sign the controversial abortion bill, nicknamed the “Heartbeat Bill,” on Tuesday.
At the end of March, the Georgia House of Representatives approved House Bill 481, which would ban most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks of gestation. Women in Georgia can currently seek an abortion up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy.
The bill makes exceptions in the case of rape and incest, but only when the woman files a police report first, as well as when a fetus is deemed not compatible with life.
At the time of passage, Kemp, who had pledged to sign the bill into law, issued a statement saying that "we stand up for the innocent and speak for those who cannot speak for themselves."
"The legislature’s bold action reaffirms our priorities and who we are as a state. I thank these lawmakers for their leadership and applaud their undeniable courage," Kemp said in the statement. "Our efforts to protect life do not end here. We must work to ease the adoption process, find loving homes for those in our foster care system, and protect the aging and vulnerable.
Opponents are concerned that the bill will not stop abortions in Georgia, just force women to seek unsafe, illegal procedures. The ACLU of Georgia has already said that it would file a suit against Georgia over the bill if it is signed into law.
The bill's passage made news nationwide, with actress Alyssa Milano and other prominent Hollywood actors signing a letter opposing the bill.
Similar measures have passed in Ohio, Mississippi, and South Carolina.