I’ve seen a lot of misinformation going around about the “Fetal Heartbeat” bill that was signed into law by the Governor of Georgia. Let’s cut through the noise and hysteria and break down this bill section by section. Let’s get started.

Section 1

This section of the bill, lines 1-29, is laying out what the bill is going to cover, what the definitions are, and the title of the bill. The bill’s real title is “Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act.”

Section 2

This section starts with affirming what our forefathers have said about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It recognizes the 14th Amendment as the rule of law on the equality of life (lines 32-42). On line 43, the bill affirms that unborn children are a protected class and that the science that proves this wasn’t available at the time of Roe v. Wade (1973). Line 47 clearly states that the unborn child deserves full legal protection. Lines 50-56 just definite that the state of Georgia will recognize an unborn child as a “natural persons.”

Section 3

This section begins with defining “peoples” between natural and artificial. Natural life being a human, even the unborn, and artificial humans being corporations (lines 58-66). Beginning on line 67, the bill begins to define that life shall be protected as soon as there is fetal heartbeat. Here are the definitions for the words they used in their language:

Section 4

This section defines abortion. Starting on Line 88, it defines abortions as:

This section determines what should be considered a medical emergency, not an abortion, and what that means:

It also defines medically futile and therefore would be not punishable to have an abortion for this reason:

Then, it defines what a “spontaneous abortion” is. The reason this is so important is because there are fervent lies circulating that you can be criminally charged for having a miscarriage. That is simply untrue. These lines specifically state that having a miscarriage, or a spontaneous abortion, is protected by law as being a natural act, not a criminal one.

Still in section 4, line 109 changes the current law on when abortions are allowed to be performed. It specifically says abortions can’t be performed if there is a fetal heartbeat except for: a medical emergency (line 120), the unborn child is no more than 20 weeks gestational age AND is a product of incest or rape (lines 121-125), or a physician determines that the pregnancy is medically futile as defined above (126-127).

*Notice that there is no mention of miscarriages or spontaneous abortions. This is because, as defined above, these occurrences are already recognized and aren’t considered abortion needing medical removal of a live child.*

RELATED READ: What Is In The Alabama Abortion Ban Bill? Let’s Break It Down Section By Section

Yes, still in section 4, line 142 states that if an abortion is performed and the baby is born alive, medical aid must be rendered. Line 143 begins to determine when abortions, if the abortions are before fetal heartbeat or meet one of the extenuating circumstances, may not be performed:

  • No abortion is allowed to occur after the first trimester unless the abortion is performed in a licensed hospital, in a licensed surgical center, or in a licensed abortion facility.

  • The physician must be licensed.

Line 152 says that health records shall be available to the district attorney of the judicial circuit in which the abortion is performed or where the mother resides. This is followed up by saying that if a woman has an abortion illegally performed on her, she may follow up in civil court for any torts. However, there are affirmative defenses that are listed below:

Section 5

This section determines that the father of a baby must provide child support even for an unborn child; this would include medical expenses and pregnancy related expenses.

Section 6

This section deals with the criminal acts related to abortion such as homicide laws and relationships between child and parent. If an unborn child is a victim of homicide, there is a right to get full value of the life of their child in the court of law.

Section 7

This section revises the “Woman’s Right to Know Act” to say that women must be treated by licensed physicians and that 24 hours prior to the abortion, they must be informed of any medical risk associated with the abortion, the probable gestational age and whether or not a heartbeat is detected, and any medical risks associated to carrying the unborn child to full term. All of this information can be provided over the phone.

Section 8

This section determines how the Department of Public Health shall put this information on their website and made available for the public to obtain this information.

Section 9

This section repeals Code Section 31-9A-6.1 relating to civil and professional penalties for violations and prerequisites for seeking penalties.

Section 10

This section determines that a licensed physician can not perform abortions after the presences of a fetal heartbeat. It then explains the criminal and civil actions that can be taken against them.

Section 11

This section covers required reporting by doctors and physicians, confidentiality, and failure to comply.

Section 12

This section relates to income taxes with determining a pre-born child as a dependent.

Section 13

This section states “Any citizen of this state shall have standing and the right to intervene and defend in any action challenging the constitutionality of any portion of this Act. “

Section 14

This section is a provision for this act to be severable in accordance to CS 1-1-13.

Section 15

This section states that this law is to be effective on January 1, 2020.

Section 16

This section simply states that any law that contradicts this one are repealed.

There you have it. To read if yourself, click here.

Life is winning.

Caroline C.
FFL Cabinet Member
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