American Taliban: Christian theocrats in Georgia have successfully criminalized abortion. Women who abort now face life in prison or even the death penalty after Governor Brian Kemp signed controversial legislation into law that effectively bans abortion in the state.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed controversial legislation Tuesday that bans abortions in the state as soon as a heartbeat is detectable, which typically occurs about six weeks into a pregnancy — before many women know they’re pregnant.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports:
Supporters filled a ceremonial room in Kemp’s office and applauded House Bill 481, which outlaws most abortions once a doctor can detect a fetus’ “heartbeat” — usually about six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women know they’re pregnant.
Signing the legislation Governor Kemp said:
All life has value, all life matters and all life is worthy of protection. I’m signing this bill to ensure all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, learn and prosper in the great state of Georgia.
Commenting on the new law, ACLU of Georgia Executive Director Andrea Young said:
This bill has big government criminalizing the most intimate decision women and couples make and flies in the face of 50 years of U.S. Supreme Court precedent. We will see Governor Kemp in court.
Speaking with Fox & Friends, Republican state Rep. Ginny Ehrhart, who co-sponsored the legislation, said it was “a historic day for Georgia families,” noting that the new law “establishes personhood at the point that that human heartbeat is detected.”
Writing for Slate, Mark Joseph Stern notes the draconian consequences of recognizing the fetus as a person:
Once it takes effect, a woman who self-terminates will have, as a matter of law, killed a human—thereby committing murder. The penalty for that crime in Georgia is life imprisonment or capital punishment.
HB 481 would also have consequences for women who get abortions from doctors or miscarry. A woman who seeks out an illegal abortion from a health care provider would be a party to murder, subject to life in prison. And a woman who miscarries because of her own conduct—say, using drugs while pregnant—would be liable for second-degree murder, punishable by 10 to 30 years’ imprisonment. Prosecutors may interrogate women who miscarry to determine whether they can be held responsible; if they find evidence of culpability, they may charge, detain, and try these women for the death of their fetuses.
Even women who seek lawful abortions out of state may not escape punishment. If a Georgia resident plans to travel elsewhere to obtain an abortion, she may be charged with conspiracy to commit murder, punishable by 10 years’ imprisonment.
That’s right: Life in prison or even the death penalty for responsible family planning. Can you feel the Christian love?
Georgia is not alone in trying to criminalize abortion and punish women for their health care decisions. In Alabama, lawmakers plan to criminalize all abortion in the state and severely punish any woman who has an abortion with up to 99 years in prison.
And in Texas legislation is being considered that would punish a woman who has an abortion with the death penalty.
Bottom line: Women who abort in Georgia face life in prison or even the death penalty after Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signs into law draconian legislation that criminalizes abortion in the state.