Heartbeat bill passes Georgia House

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

ATLANTA — House Bill 481, which outlaws abortions after a doctor has determined a heartbeat, passed through the House of Representatives late Thursday night by a 93-73 vote and will proceed to the Senate before its chance to land on the desk of Governor Brian Kemp.

Kemp expressed strong support for the bill’s passage in a video released yesterday afternoon.

“Georgia is a state that values life. We shield the vulnerable and shelter the innocent. I applaud the Health and Human Services Committee for advancing legislation to protect the unborn. I encourage the House and Senate to do the same,” Kemp stated.

“This is a powerful moment in Georgia. It’s bigger than politics and partisanship. Let’s champion life today and ensure that all Georgians – including the unborn – have the chance to live, grow, and prosper. Thank you, and God Bless.” 

Mike Griffin, Public Affairs representative for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, told The Index, “This is the most significant piece of pro-life legislation passed in the Georgia House since Roe vs. Wade.”

The bill would become one of the most restrictive in the country if passed. A doctor can typically detect a baby’s heartbeat by the mother’s sixth week of pregnancy. Currently, Georgia allows abortions at up to 20 weeks gestation.

As Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth) introduced the legislation, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that at least 20 Democrats stood with their backs turned. In speaking against the measure, Rep. Renitta Shannon of Decatur remained at the podium after her allotted time had run out, prompting House Speaker David Ralston to cut her mic before security and Shannon’s fellow Democrats escorted her away.

Griffin thanks supporters, urges vigilance

Griffin thanked legislators, including Setzler by name, and supporters in a video from the Capitol.

“Praise the Lord; we have a lot to be thankful for. Thank the Lord for your prayers; thank you for your support. Thank you, Georgia Baptists, for making those phone calls and doing what you could to contact our representatives [to] let them you know that you want them fighting for life.

“And thank you, to Governor Brian Kemp … keeping his campaign promise he made to pass some of the toughest abortion laws against the taking of human life in our state.

“We are standing for life here in the state of Georgia.”

From this point, the bill passes over to the Senate where it will have until April 2 to be passed out of the Rules Committee and onto the floor for a vote.

Griffin urged Georgia Baptists to remain informed of the bill as it passes into committee.

“I pray you’ll continue to be focused on this issue as we look at protecting innocent life here in the state of Georgia,” he said.

Moon landing reflection: an opportunity to worship
Girls develop a ‘heart for the nations’ at Camp Pinnacle
Churchgoers demonstrate deep faith but room to grow
50 years and counting: Acteens influences girls to live on mission
Newly-named Research and Development strategist eager to connect Georgia Baptists
Southern Baptist Media Day set for July 28
TMU welcomes new director of Student Success
Baptist News Summary: Mandrell ready for LifeWay to ‘make an impact’
Bible Study for July 28: Depend on God
Daily Bible Readings for July 16-31
Bible Study for July 21: Pursue godliness
Bible Study for July 14: Mentoring – How to equip and encourage others
Newly-named Research and Development strategist eager to connect Georgia Baptists
New GBMB Mission Catalyst excited for ‘what God’s about to do’
Beth Ann Williams to lead Georgia Baptist Women in Mission Board restructuring
Skipper tapped to be Evangelism catalyst in Georgia Baptist restructuring
Every state at #SBC19, first time in 20 years
Ministers’ wives pray for one another at luncheon
Bivocational pastors encouraged to persevere
Floyd affirms Birmingham progress, eyes SBC 2020