Georgia House committee approves ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill
A Georgia House committee passed legislation Wednesday that would ban abortions in the state after a fetus has a detectable heartbeat.
The Associated Press reported that the state’s House Health and Human Services Committee passed the restrictive measure in a 17-14 vote following a tense hearing filled emotional displays from activists and others.
The vote was along party lines, the AP reported, with 13 Republican men and four Republican women voting for the bill, and seven Democratic men and seven Democratic women voting against it.
Under current Georgia law, women can seek an abortion up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy. A fetus’s heartbeat is generally detectable at around six weeks, which can be before a woman knows she is pregnant.
The bill makes exceptions in the case of rape and incest, but only if a woman files a police report, the AP reported. There is also an exception in the event the pregnancy puts a mother’s life at risk, or in the case of a “medically futile” pregnancy.
The bill could move to the full House for a vote as soon as Thursday, the AP reported.
A similar “heartbeat” bill was a subject of controversy in Ohio, where former Gov. John Kasich (R) vetoed the legislation. State lawmakers then reintroduced a “heartbeat” bill late last year after newly elected Gov. Mike DeWine (R) said he would sign it.