The “Heartbeat Bill” won’t become law in Georgia just yet.
A federal judge temporarily blocked the bill, which was scheduled to become law on January 1, 2020, and would have banned abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected in the womb, USA Today reports.
“[This is] a victory for the people of Georgia and the entire nation,” Staci Fox, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said in a statement, according to USA Today.
The fetal heartbeat is typically detected by the sixth week of pregnancy before many women even know they’re expecting.
The heartbeat bill has exceptions for cases that involve rape or incest when the woman files a police report. It also allows for abortions when a fetus is determined not to be viable or the mother’s health is in jeopardy, USA Today reports.
“To the countless Georgians who spoke out against this ban and were ignored we promised to keep fighting every step of the way and we have,” Fox said in the statement.
“To our partners, we promised we were in this together and we are,” she added. “To Governor Kemp, we promised to see you in court, and we did. But most importantly, to our patients, we promised to protect access to safe, legal abortion and together we have.”
Emily Nestler, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement Tuesday (October 1), “The court recognized today that this law is blatantly unconstitutional and a clear attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. Instead of passing laws that restrict the rights of pregnant women, Georgia lawmakers should be implementing policies that help pregnant women.”
The Governor’s office also commented on the court ruling.
“Despite today’s outcome, we remain confident in our position,” Candice Broce, a spokeswoman for Kemp, said Tuesday (October 1), USA Today reports. “We will continue to fight for the unborn and work to ensure that all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, and prosper.”
When the heartbeat bill was first announced earlier this year, Tiffany Haddish responded by canceling an appearance in Atlanta.
“After much deliberation, I am postponing my upcoming show in Atlanta,” she wrote in a statement ahead of her scheduled appearance on June 22 at Fox Theatre. “I love the state of Georgia, but I need to stand with women and until they withdraw Measure HB481, I cannot in good faith perform there.”
(Photo: TAMI CHAPPELL/AFP/Getty Images)