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Georgia House Passes Abortion Bill

A bill severely restricting abortions in Georgia passed narrowly with a 92-78 vote on the House floor on Friday. It takes 91 votes to pass a bill.

Now, House Bill 481 heads to Gov. Brian Kemp’s desk to be signed into law.

Kemp is expected to sign the legislation. In his 2018 campaign, he vowed to his supporters to sign “the strictest abortion law in the nation.”

The “Heartbeat Bill” bans most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions include if the pregnancy was a result of police reported rape or incest, if the mother’s life is threatened by the pregnancy or in instances of “medical futility,” which is when a fetus is non-viable.

Six weeks is when supporters claim a fetal heartbeat can be detected, although doctors dispute that. The current law bans most abortions after 20 weeks.

Reps. Houston Gaines (R-Athens) and Marcus Wiedower (R-Watkinsville) voted in favor. Rep. Spencer Frye (D-Athens) voted against the bill.

Gaines and Wiedower emailed a joint statement to Flagpole about their intentions to vote in favor of the bill on Wednesday.

“We are pro-life and ran as a pro-life candidates. Governor Kemp has made this issue a top priority, and we agree with him that we must promote the sanctity of human life. We have received hundreds of messages from constituents who have varying opinions from all sides of the political spectrum, and we respect the viewpoints of all of the people in our districts.”

The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia has stated it will file a lawsuit if Kemp signs the bill.