ATLANTA — On Monday, the Atlanta City Council unanimously approved and signed a resolution which expressed their opposition to the state of Georgia's recently enacted "heartbeat law."
The new legislation, which was passed by the Georgia General Assembly in this year's session and recently signed by Gov. Brian Kemp, outlaws abortion in the state as early as six weeks into pregnancy.
Second District Councilmember Amir Farokhi, who initially introduced the legislation before the council, said he feels the unanimous 13-0 vote is important.
“As the state’s largest city, it’s important that we join the chorus of Georgians speaking out for a woman’s right to choose,” said Farokhi. “The values represented in that bill are not those held by the majority of Atlantans.”
Similar legislation in other states has been passed in Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi and Ohio that also outlawed abortion once a fetal heartbeat could be detected. Arkansas and Utah lawmakers voted to prohibit abortion beyond the middle of the second trimester.
Legislators in the state of Alabama have voted to effectively outlaw abortion entirely, threatening prison time of anywhere from 10 to 99 years for doctors who perform the practice. That state's legislation was quickly signed by that state's governor.
The validity of each state's legislation is expected to be challenged in court.
Farokhi says Georgia's law and others like it are an affront to the rights for all set forth in the United States Constitution and upheld by the Supreme Court.
“Every woman has the right to choose,” he said. “It’s not a decision that the government or, frankly, men, have any business interfering with. No woman should live in fear of prison time or the death penalty for making a decision regarding her health. Likewise, doctors should not fear imprisonment for doing their job,” he said.
The resolution was co-sponsored by Councilmembers Smith, Brown, Ide, Hills, Bond, Dickens and Westmoreland. It goes to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms for her immediate signature.
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