Georgia and Tennessee Houses pass bills to ban abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected

Mail Online | 3/7/2019 | Associated Press;Natalie Rahhal Deputy Health Editor For
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Georgia and Tennessee joined a string of states moving to enact tough abortion restrictions when Republican House lawmakers passed bans on most abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Fetal heartbeats may be detected via ultrasound as early as six weeks, though the method is typically not reliable until 10-12 weeks into pregnancy.

Women - Months

About one in 400 to 500 women are unaware they are pregnant until they are some five months along.

Opponents of so-called 'heartbeat legislation' argue it flies in the face of Roe v Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion, which many pro-life advocates hope will be overturned at the hands of the two new Justices.

Georgia - Tennessee - States - Mississippi - Florida

Georgia and Tennessee join other states, including Mississippi, Florida, Kentucky, Ohio and South Carolina, that are also considering this type of legislation.

The bills will next head to each state's respective Senate. If they pass, the states' governors will have to sign them into law, as Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has said he intends to do.

Debate - Atlanta - Georgia - Thursday - Lawmakers

During a tense debate in Atlanta, Georgia, on Thursday, several Democratic lawmakers opposed to the bill turned their backs to its author, Republican Representative Ed Setzler.

Earlier in the day, some Democratic lawmakers brought in wire coat hangers in reference to unsafe home abortions.

Setzler - Bill - Child - Womb - Distinct

Setzler said his bill 'seeks to recognize that the child in the womb, that is living distinct from their mother, has a right to life that is worthy of legal protection.'

The Tennessee House passed similar legislation earlier Thursday after its Republican supermajority forced an end to debate without letting some Democrats speak.

Measures - Georgia - Tennessee - Senate - Approval

If the measures in Georgia and Tennessee win Senate approval and are signed into law, they would trigger immediate legal challenges.

Abortion opponents across the country are hopeful the US Supreme Court - with new Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh -...
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