WATCH LIVE: Kemp To Sign 'Heartbeat' Abortion Bill Tuesday

May 6, 2019

Gov. Brian Kemp will be signing a controversial measure Tuesday that effectively bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and gives certain personhood rights to a fetus. 

HB 481 will be signed at 10 a.m. in the governor's ceremonial office at the Capitol.

UPDATE 9:15 a.m.:

The ACLU of Georgia plans to hold a press conference after the bill’s signing today to denounce what it calls an unconstitutional measure.

Georgia will join several other Republican-controlled states that have passed tougher abortion legislation this year. The Governors of Ohio and Mississippi and Kentucky have approved their state’s bills; a federal judge has blocked Kentucky’s. 

ORIGINAL STORY: On the campaign trail, Kemp vowed to sign the "toughest abortion laws in the country," and supported a different bill introduced this session that would end abortion in Georgia  - but only if Roe v. Wade is overturned. 

Georgia's bill may put the state in the driver's seat of that conversation. Both abortion rights advocates and opponents say language in HB 481 could trigger a Supreme Court challenge to federal protections for abortion.

In an interview with GPB News in March, Joshua Edmonds with Georgia Life Alliance said Georgia's heartbeat bill goes further than others, including provisions that allow Georgians to claim an embryo on their taxes and would include them in some census counts. 

In the days since the bill reached Kemp's desk, state Democrats and other advocacy groups have urged the governor to veto the bill and threatened legal action.

During the legislative session, a number of groups demonstrated at the Capitol in support and opposition to the bill, including a press conference by actress Alyssa Milano and local entertainment workers who say signing the heartbeat measure could negatively impact the state's booming film industry.

This story will be updated.