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No, Georgia’s Heartbeat Bill Won’t Imprison Women Who Have Abortions

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Last week Georgia governor Brian Kemp signed perhaps the most impressive and comprehensively pro-life “heartbeat bill” in the nation. The law (set to go into effect in 2020) not only bans abortion when the baby has a “detectable human heartbeat” it declares the scientific, philosophical, and theological truth that an unborn child is a “natural person” under state law. The law — like other state heartbeat bills — defies controlling Supreme Court authority, and expect pro-abortion activists to immediately challenge it in court.

I expected activist resistance and protest against the bill. I expected radical voices to urge corporate boycotts of Georgia. But I must confess that I did not expect to see a series of stories with lurid headlines and fundamentally mistaken premises to go viral — and to stay viral for days. Here’s a sampling:

Business Insider: “Women could get up to 30 years in prison for having a miscarriage under Georgia’s harsh new abortion law.”

Slate: “Georgia just criminalized abortion. Women who terminate their pregnancies would receive life in prison.”

The Week: “Georgia’s ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill could imprison women for life.”

Glamour: “Women who have an abortion in Georgia could be sentenced to life in prison.”


© National Review