Kemp Backs Abortion Bill As House Democrats Push Back

Mar 7, 2019

Gov. Brian Kemp released a video Thursday urging legislators to pass a so-called "heartbeat" abortion bill before the Crossover Day deadline.

Kemp, who vowed on the campaign trail to sign the "toughest abortion laws in the country" if elected, appears to be sticking to his promise. 

"Georgia," Kemp said in the video, "is a state that values life." He also called it a  "powerful moment in Georgia" that was "bigger than politics and partisanship." 

The bill would ban abortions once a doctor can detect a heartbeat, usually around six weeks into the pregnancy. 

Women in Georgia can currently seek abortions until 20 weeks. 

The announcement from Kemp comes about an hour after House Democrats held a press conference detailing opposition to a bill, hearing from a doctor, a lawyer and other advocates. 

Rep. Erica Thomas (D-Austell) also spoke at the press conference, saying as a pregnant woman she is against the bill and supports women who want to have the choices under current Georgia law.

"The decision that I made was between me and my husband and my family, and that is the way that it should be," she said. "So, moving forward, we will always stand with the doctors, with the clergy and with the rest of the advocates in Georgia standing with women and standing with families that want to be able to make that choice [to seek an abortion] for themselves."