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Women's advocacy groups, civil leaders voice opposition to the passage of Georgia's 'heartbeat bill'

The backlash was swift following Gov. Kemp's official signing of the bill, which would block abortion six weeks after gestation.

ATLANTA — Tuesday, Gov. Kemp signed what some call the "most pro-life legislation in the nation" and it didn’t come without backlash.

The "heartbeat bill" also known as the LIFE Act, bans abortion beyond the point of a detectable heartbeat, which is approximately six weeks. 

A legal showdown is expected to come as a result of the signing.

"We will not back down. We will always continue to fight for life," Kemp said. "We protect the innocent, we champion the vulnerable, we stand up and speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves."

 Staci Fox, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood, said the organization plans on fighting this bill every step of the way.

“I have one message for Governor Kemp: We’ll see you in court. And to the Georgia lawmakers who supported this legislation: you were right to be nervous about voting for House Bill 481. We warned you. If you choose to vote against women’s rights, we’ll be voting against you in the next election.”

RELATED: 'Heartbeat Bill' officially Georgia abortion law

Georgia House Democrats “condemned” Kemp’s signing of the bill. 

“The signing of this law ushers in a new era of nightmarish government intrusion into the reproductive rights and medical decision-making of all women in Georgia," the organization stated. 

The Democratic National Committee also expressed its concern and stated, “women’s lives are on the line in Georgia.” 

“Georgia’s abortion ban is only the latest example of how the Trump administration’s anti-women policies have emboldened legislators across the country to attack women’s access to health care,” the DNC wrote in a press release. 

Gov. Kemp signs 'heartbeat bill' into law

The Center for Reproductive Rights said they plan to sue and block the new law. Elisabeth Smith, Chief Counsel at CRR, stated that the six-week cutoff works against women in multiple ways. 

“Even for women who find out they’re pregnant before six weeks, it would be nearly impossible to get an abortion before the cutoff. Georgia law requires women to visit a clinic twice before they can get an abortion, and, because Georgia law limits public and private insurance coverage of abortion, women often must save up money to pay for the procedure," Smith said.  

Former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams referred to the law in a tweet as the "forced pregnancy bill" and strongly denounced it.

North Carolina, Mississippi, Arkansas, Arizona, Iowa, and North Dakota recently had their abortion laws challenged and blocked in court.


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