Georgia House Passes 'Heartbeat' Abortion Bill

Mar 7, 2019

The Georgia House passed a bill Thursday that would greatly restrict access to abortions.

HB 481 passed 93-73 after more than an hour of passionate debate from both sides of the issue and the aisle. 

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), would ban doctors from performing an abortion once a heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks into pregnancy, with a few exceptions.

It was a contentious discussion that lasted for more than 90 minutes. More than a dozen Democrats turned their backs on Setzler in silent protest while he presented the bill, Rep. Park Cannon (D-Atlanta) was reprimanded for naming colleagues who voted for the bill in committee and Rep. Renitta Shannon (D-Decatur) had the microphone cut when she ran over her alloted time responding to the bill.

Speaking to reporters after adjournment, House Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) acknowledged people were on edge during the discussion and said he would sleep on his earlier comments that Democrats who broke House rules would be "dealt with."

This story will be updated.