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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Signs ‘Heartbeat’ Bill Into Law

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp Signs ‘Heartbeat’ Bill Into Law

By the fifth week of pregnancy, the baby will have a fully functioning heart.

I have no idea why people call this controversial because there is nothing controversial about life and science. Life begins at conception. It’s science and basic biology.

Republican Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law the bill “Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act.” This bill “prohibit abortions in the state after a heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into a pregnancy.”

The Bill

Before everyone loses their mind, the bill exempts those in cases of rape, incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger.

Georgia State Rep. Ed Setzler stated that “science, law, and the simple fact that common sense says a beating heart is a sign of life and those children should receive the full protection of the law.”

No matter how many leftist Hollywood activists complain, Kemp explained that “Georgia is a state that values life” and the people will always “stand up for those who are unable to speak for themselves.”

Kemp acknowledged others will challenge the bill, but promised to “not back down” and “continue to fight for life.”

Georgia Republican Rep. Jody Hice celebrated the signing in a press release via email:

“When you have a heartbeat, you have a life, and we should honor and protect life at all costs,” said Congressman Hice. “With the signing of the LIFE Act today, this event is more significant than simply the enactment of a new law. This is a crucial confirmation of the self-evident truth that all innocent lives are precious and sacred – and should be treated that way. I applaud Governor Kemp and the Georgia State Legislature for proving their unwavering commitment to the most vulnerable among us, and I am optimistic that we are seeing a change of heart on a national scale.”

The bill goes into effect in January 2020.

Governors in Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Ohio have all signed similar bills into law. Legislatures in Louisiana, South Carolina, and West Virginia have started to consider heartbeat bills.


Let’s talk about this science. From (emphasis mine):

A fetal heartbeat may first be detected by a vaginal ultrasound as early as 5 1/2 to 6 weeks after gestation. That’s when a fetal pole, the first visible sign of a developing embryo, can sometimes be seen.

But between 6 1/2 to 7 weeks after gestation, a heartbeat can be better assessed. That’s when your doctor may schedule your first abdominal or vaginal ultrasound to check for signs of a healthy, developing pregnancy.

The sex of the unborn human happens right at conception, which happens during the third week (emphasis mine):

So will your lone little cell miraculously become a girl or a boy? Though it will be months before you can find out for sure (if you decide to before delivery day), that remarkable determination has already been made, believe it or not.

Ready for a crash course in biology? The fertilized egg contains 46 chromosomes — 23 from you, 23 from Dad. The mother (that’s you!) always provides an X chromosome, but the father can provide either an X or a Y. If the sperm that fertilizes your egg carries an X, the XX zygote will be a girl. If the sperm is Y-bearing, your XY zygote will be a boy.

It does not take long for this unborn human being to begin development. By the fourth week, the heart takes shape along with the digestive system, sex organs, bones, kidneys, and muscles. The cells on the outer layer immediately begin to form the nervous system, hair, skin, and eyes.

By the next week, the fifth, the unborn human being has a circulatory system and blood…along with the heart (emphasis mine):

When those tubes fuse together, your baby will have a fully functioning heart, though he almost certainly has his grip on yours already! Also in the works this week are several other organs, including the neural tube — the precursor to your baby’s brain and spinal cord — which hasn’t yet sealed. But by next week, that open-door policy is over.

Most pregnant women receive their first ultrasound at 6 weeks. It is vaginal because the unborn human being is only the size of a grain of rice. But that “clump of cells” has the most beautiful sound in the world: a loud heartbeat.

You know what else develops fast at 6 weeks? The unborn human being’s kidneys, liver, and lungs. Obviously the heart has already developed. More from What to Expect:

You might be coping with full-blown pregnancy symptoms (poor girl), but there’s plenty of good news too. The folds of tissue in the prominent bump on top — the head — are developing into your baby’s jaw, cheeks and chin, which will eventually become one adorable face. And are those little indentations on both sides of the head the sweet dimples you always hoped your baby would inherit from your mom’s side of the family? No, they’re ear canals in the making. Small dots on the face will form the eyes and button nose in a few weeks. Also taking shape this week: her kidneys, liver and lungs, along with her little heart, which is now beating about 110 times a minute (and getting faster every day).

You have a human being inside of you. A separate entity with his or her own DNA and body.


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filiusdextris | May 7, 2019 at 1:24 pm

Dear baby, your mother is related to your father so we’re entitled to kill you now. Nothing personal.

Dear baby, your father was a bad man, so we’re entitled to kill you now. Tough break.

I get that these exceptions lead to a situation that is better than the status quo and involve political expediency (and I won’t go into the third case the author mentioned for now). However, I would suggest that the author is vastly mistaken if she believes that a lack of such exceptions would be akin to “everyone losing their mind.” Quite the opposite, I would argue.

The lawsuits will begin in 3-2-1….This will end up in SCOTUS.

    txvet2 in reply to bear. | May 7, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    I hope so. It’s past time the RvW goes on the trash heap of history.

      Milhouse in reply to txvet2. | May 7, 2019 at 5:33 pm

      It is, but this is not the time for a challenge. I don’t think there is a majority on the court to overturn Roe and Casey, and a defeat will be worse than not bringing the case at all. Kemp should try to slow-walk the law’s implementation so that any challenge will not be heard until after the next SCOTUS confirmation. Better would have been to kill this law now, so that the next confirmation doesn’t become a fight over a specific law.


OleDirtyBarrister | May 7, 2019 at 2:19 pm

Hopefully, the moral standards and average IQ of Georgia will improve when Alyssa Milano and all the other bloodthirsty babykillers from Hollywood return home and refuse to come back to Georgia.

The lies will start about how many will be injured and killed by this law. The attorneys in Roe v. Wade admitted in a NY Times article some years back that they lied and used made up numbers about self administered procedures and backstreet provisions. The atheist marxists never let the truth or facts get in the way of their agenda, and neither do the ones in the federal courts.

broomhandle | May 7, 2019 at 2:33 pm

Is there an exception for situations where the baby is seriously malformed, such as missing 1/3 of its brain?

    rdmdawg in reply to broomhandle. | May 7, 2019 at 5:44 pm

    I should hope not. Take your eugenics rap elsewhere. Making exceptions for drastic medical conditions will quickly devolve into making exceptions for trivial stuff like freckles or for gender selection reasons. Horrible.

    VaGentleman in reply to broomhandle. | May 7, 2019 at 6:09 pm

    No. Progressives will still be born and we just have to deal with it.

Life begins at conception. It’s science and basic biology.

This is a stupid liberal argument. Pretending that policy preferences are somehow scientific is the sort of thing which gave the world Marxism. And, obviously, the Global Warming scam.

I don’t like dead babies any more than anyone else. But the issue depends entirely on the arbitrary decision about when a tumorous growth becomes a fellow citizen, entitled to the full protection of the law. Societies of the past have determined that to be at various times, including, occasionally, times up to about six years after birth. Obviously this is not the way we see it in the modern world, but the fact is that were it a scientific question, it would have been answered ages ago. But it hasn’t. Modern liberalism’s great crime is the insistence that this isn’t an arbitrary decision at all, it’s merely a question of “women’s health”. No important question can be answered by pretending that it doesn’t exist. Nor can it be answered by fluffing up prejudices by pronouncing them to be scientific.

The most scientific approach to the entire thing may have been Margaret Sanger’s. That doesn’t make it particularly satisfactory, but it was relatively scientific.

    n.n in reply to tom_swift. | May 7, 2019 at 3:08 pm

    When does a tumor evolve to become a human life? That would be a neat trick.

    The issue for humanity is a reconciliation of human rights (e.g. right to life), civil rights (e.g. due process, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment), scientific evidence, and the much disdained morality replaced in modern times by ethics.

    Sanger gave us the wicked solution (e.g. selective-child) for social progress, which greased the progressive slope for recycled-child for medical progress. Her solution was not based on science, but political convenience and personal expedience.

    Mac45 in reply to tom_swift. | May 9, 2019 at 12:01 pm

    The problem with your argument is that the State of Georgia has already legislated the fact that a fetus, at any stage of development, in the Feticide statute [16-5-80]. Though the statute is written in such a way as to attempt to split legal hairs, any willful action, resulting in the death of a member of homo sapiens, except in self defense or defense of another from deadly force, is illegal in the state. Yet we have an exception to that based solely upon the age of the homo sapiens, whose life is terminated, and the relationship with the person authorizing the termination, the mother. This sets up a huge legal paradox and flies directly in the face of US common law which requires either an adjudication of guilt, for a crime, or defense against an imminent use of deadly force. As a human being, inside the womb, can not commit a crime and can not present an imminent use of deadly force, terminating its existence would not meet the legal requirements imposed upon the rest of society.

      Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | May 9, 2019 at 12:03 pm

      Edit: “The problem with your argument is that the State of Georgia has already legislated the fact that a fetus, at any stage of development, in the Feticide statute [16-5-80].” should read “The problem with your argument is that the State of Georgia has already legislated the fact that a fetus, at any stage of development, is a human being, in the Feticide statute [16-5-80].” Sorry.


One small step for humanity. A giant leap for humans.

Joe-dallas | May 7, 2019 at 3:25 pm

“Modern liberalism’s great crime is the insistence that this isn’t an arbitrary decision at all, it’s merely a question of “women’s health” ”

With medical technology and medical services existing today, the chance of death during childbirth is approximatley .009%. Abortion has absolutely nothing to do with protecting the health of the mother.

Tom Swift is right. The issue is not when “human life” begins, but when personhood begins, and that is not a question that science can answer. There is no scientific definition of personhood; it’s a philosophical category, not a scientific one. Forget 6 years, Roman law did not regard a man as an independent person until his father and grandfather were dead. Women were never independent persons. The Romans certainly acknowledged that people with living fathers were living humans; they just didn’t acknowledge that this made it wrong to kill them.

    Close The Fed in reply to Milhouse. | May 7, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Oh my gosh, Milhouse engages in sophistry. “Personhood” is a construct of SCOTUS, not of the Constitution’s drafters.

    Will someone please get Milhouse and Tom Swift tickets to “Dense-o-rama”!? Also, will someone please replace the scarecrow of judicial impeachment with an ACTUAL impeachment of these anti-American SCOTUS justices!!!

      Milhouse in reply to Close The Fed. | May 7, 2019 at 7:20 pm

      Personhood is a construct of the law, not SCOTUS. The constitution explicitly protects only the rights of persons, so it depends entirely on a definition of personhood. If you don’t have one then you cannot know whom the constitution protects. Being a living human does not automatically mean one is a person. And no scientific test exists or can ever exist for personhood.

      Milhouse in reply to Close The Fed. | May 7, 2019 at 7:21 pm

      Oh, and who exactly do you think should be able to impeach judges, if not Congress?

Mary professes to have no idea why a bill that challenges Roe v. Wade would be controversial. Sheesh.

What, because all it does is talk about the developing baby as being alive? Does she really not know that the Roe decision not only recognizes that the developing child is alive but that it has interests in maintaining that life, interests that the Court weighed against the life and liberty interests of the mother, resulting in Roe’s trimester analysis of required initial priority for the mother’s interests (first trimester) and growing allowed priority for the unborn’s interests (second and third trimesters) if states want to enact it.

If heartbeats can typically be detected at 6 weeks then giving priority to the unborn’s interest in life at that point would cut the period where the mother’s interests take priority to almost half of what the Court in Roe said was required.

Thinking this won’t be controversial is like thinking you can stroll across the freeway at rush hour without incident. You could take every leftist off the Supreme Court and still likely end up with this law being struck down just on stare decisis.