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Georgia House backs ‘heartbeat’ abortion restriction

Posted: 8:29 AM, Mar 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-08 13:29:23Z
abortion

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia joined a string of states moving to enact tough abortion restrictions, as the state House passed a ban on most abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

During tense debate Thursday night, several Democratic lawmakers opposed to the bill turned their back to its author, Republican Rep. Ed Setzler. Earlier in the day, some handed out wire coat hangers in reference to unsafe home abortions.

Women in Georgia can currently seek an abortion up to 20 weeks into a pregnancy. A fetal heartbeat is generally detectable at around six weeks, before many women know they are pregnant.

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.

It now goes to the state Senate. Republican Gov. Brian Kemp backs the measure.