Bears’ Beat Report: House Bill 481


Here’s what you need to know about Georgia House Bill 481. The Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act bans abortion in the presence of a heartbeat. A heartbeat is detectable at about 6 weeks, but most women learn they are pregnant between four and seven weeks. The bill does not, however, apply in cases of reported rape, inscest or infant mortality, according to the AJC.

The LIFE Act passed in the Georgia House of Representatives with a 93-73 vote. One Republican voted against the bill, and two Democrats for it. The bill also made it out of committee in the Senate and is now eligible for floor discussion. It would likely pass in the majority-Republican Senate.

Similar “Heartbeat Bills” have also been introduced in the state legislatures of Tennessee, Kentucky and Ohio. However, the 1973 Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade ruled abortion legal and a lawsuit has been brought against the Kentucky bill by the American Civil Liberties Union, according to the Associated Press.

The response to the bill has been protest from women’s rights activists and Democrats while most Republicans back the bill. Some protesters dressed as characters from The Handmaid’s Tale. Representative Dar’shun Kendrick’s Testicular Bill of Rights would regulate male reproduction in response to the regulations proposed in the LIFE Act. However, Governor Brian Kemp vowed to pass the bill should it pass in the Senate.

For the Bear’s Beat, I’m Devyn Mode.