By Ilana Novick
Source: Read full article at Truthdig
On Tuesday, Georgia passed a so-called “heartbeat” bill, scheduled to take effect in January 2020, banning abortions as early as the sixth week of pregnancy, when, as anti-abortion activists argue, a fetal heartbeat can be detected. It’s a time before many women realize they are pregnant. Brian Kemp is the fourth governor to sign such a law in 2019, and the sixth overall, including the governors of Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa and North Dakota.
Georgia’s law, HB481, or the Living Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, is particularly extreme because it requires that the state “recognize unborn children as natural persons,” and that they “shall be included in population based determinations.” As Mark Joseph Stern writes in Slate, because Georgia is a death-penalty state, absent any added limitations, the law “would subject women who get illegal abortions to life imprisonment and the death penalty.”
None of these laws have been enacted yet. The North Dakota, Arkansas, Iowa and Kentucky bills have so far been blocked in court, with the Mississippi ban also facing legal challenges. Georgia and Ohio, as Anna North writes in Vox, are also…