A Georgia House committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would prohibit abortions after the discovery of a fetal heartbeat.
The bill is known as the “Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act” and aims to “protect the fundamental rights of particular classes of persons who had not previously been recognized under the law.” The bill provides that “[n]o abortion is authorized or shall be performed if the unborn child has been determined to have a human heartbeat” except for in certain medical situations. The medical exceptions include situations where the pregnant woman’s life is in danger, where the pregnant woman is in danger of “serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function,” or where an abortion would “[p]reserve the life of an unborn child.”
The bill is similar to other fetal heartbeat bills that have been proposed in other states.
SB 218 is an omnibus abortion bill that would—among other things—ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected, and identify fetuses as natural persons who qualify for state income tax deductions and state population-based determinations.
The bill states the following:
The bill would consist of embryos and fetuses in state population-based determinations.
Heartbeat Abortion Ban
Excluding in cases of medical emergency, no abortion may be executed or attempted to be performed unless the physician performing the procedure has first made a determination of the presence of a human heartbeat.
A fetal heartbeat can be identified as early as six weeks of pregnancy—two weeks after a person’s first missed period—and well before many people even understand that they are pregnant.
The bill would ban abortion when a fetus has been determined to have a heartbeat, except when it’s essential to prevent the death of the pregnant person or avoid serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical damage of a major bodily function of the pregnant person; or to keep the life of the “unborn child.”
The bill would need any abortion did after the first trimester to be performed in a licensed hospital, in a licensed ambulatory surgical center, or in a health facility certified as an abortion facility by the state Department of Community Health.
Any person who does an abortion would be a licensed physician.
The bill would have need of all physician, hospital, or other health-care facility records to be made available to local law enforcement agencies.
The bill would require a physician to notify the pregnant patient of the presence of a fetal heartbeat at the time the abortion would be performed.
Informational materials provided by the state would need to comprise the following additional statement:
“By six weeks’ growth, the unborn child has a human heartbeat.”
Lethal Fetal Anomaly
Presently state law disallows the performance of an abortion without first decisive the gestational age of the fetus, except in cases of medical emergency or when a pregnancy is identified as medically futile.
Besides changing the obligation to decide a fetal heartbeat instead of the gestational age, the bill would eliminate the exception for when a pregnancy is diagnosed as medically futile.
The bill would make changes requirements for abortion reports to require physicians to include information on the determination of the presence of a fetal heartbeat.
In every case of the homicide of a child, current state law permits there to be some party permitted to recover the full value of the life of the child. The bill would cover this to apply to the homicide of a “child carried in the womb,” at the point at which a heartbeat is detected.
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