Heartbeat Bill

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Marshae Jones, an Alabama woman charged with manslaughter for allegedly starting a fight that led to her getting shot and having a miscarriage, will not face prosecution after all. The prosecutor has decided not to pursue the charge, but the incident started a conversation about negligence and culpability for pregnant women in an era of increasingly restrictive abortion laws. 

With the potential increase to the liability pregnant women face, legal questions arise surrounding when a pregnant woman is addicted to drugs. On Second Thought looked at how current and pending laws converge with Georgia’s opioid crisis.


The empty courtroom is seen at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington.
J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

On this edition of Political Rewind, the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia has filed a lawsuit asking the federal court to block implementation of the state’s restrictive new abortion law.  ACLU Director Andrea Young joins us to discuss the basis for the suit.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

A new lawsuit claims Georgia's abortion law, set to take effect Jan. 1, 2020, violates the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. 

The 36-page suit, Sistersong v. Kemp, argues that the Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act "criminalizes pre-viability abortions in direct conflict with Roe v. Wade," which establishes a woman's right to an abortion until about 24 weeks into pregnancy. 


In the era of “fake news” and “alternative facts,” the focus on language in politics is high. What a bill is or campaign is called can be just as important as the actual contents. With the recent string of “heartbeat” and related bills in several states, we took a look at the role language plays into how we debate issues in public. 

Dr Fern Johnson, professor emerita in English at Clark University, joined us to talk about the power of connotation and the tools legislators use. Her research centers on the discourse surrounding ethnicity, race and gender.

The state of Georgia — and the country — is divided over so-called "heartbeat" bills and other new state laws restricting abortion. Many are confused about who could be prosecuted and what, exactly, constitutes a violation of the law.

On Second Thought leaves the flashpoints of politics behind and attempts to get some clarity on the legal questions raised by HB 481.

 


Bob Andres / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The state of Georgia — and the country — is divided over so-called "heartbeat" bills and other new state laws restricting abortion. Many are confused about who could be prosecuted and what, exactly, constitutes a violation of the law.

On Second Thought leaves the flashpoints of politics behind and attempts to get some clarity on the legal questions raised by HB 481.


Marco Verch / Flickr

A flood of major entertainment companies have issued cautious statements about future filming in Georgia if a new abortion law takes effect, amidst national calls for a boycott and local concern over the state's booming film and television industry.

CBS, Sony, AMC, WarnerMedia, NBCUniversal, Disney and Netflix will monitor what could be a lengthy legal fight over the Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act, which would effectively ban abortions in the state except for cases of rape and incest with a police report, when the health of the mother is in jeopardy or the pregnancy is declared "medically futile."

The law also gives personhood rights to an embryo once cardiac activity is detected.


It’s been three weeks since Gov. Brian Kemp signed one of the toughest abortion laws in the country, the Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act that outlaws most abortions.

Since that time, there have been calls to boycott Georgia’s film industry, including a recent statement from Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos, who claimed that the streaming giant would fight to oppose the bill and rethink its relationship with the state if the bill becomes law. 

GPB political reporter Stephen Fowler spoke with Leah Fleming to recap the latest developments.


Emma Nigut

On this edition of Political Rewind, a federal judge has blocked the Mississippi abortion bill that closely resembles Georgia’s new “fetal heartbeat” measure. It is the latest judicial action halting new state laws that severely restrict abortion. What would this mean for Georgia’s new law?

 


GPB

On this special edition of Political Rewind, we are talking about House Bill 481, known to many people as the “Heartbeat” Bill. A lot has been said about the bill during the 2019 Legislative Session leading up to the signing of the bill by Gov. Brian Kemp on May 7th.


Bob Andres / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Editor's note: This story was updated at 1:47 p.m. Tuesday to include information from HB 481 signing protests

Starting Jan. 1, Georgia will have one of the strictest abortion laws in the country, if it survives legal challenges from abortion rights advocates and civil rights groups.

Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed HB 481, the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act Tuesday morning.

GPB

On this edition of Political Rewind, Gov. Kemp’s office has announced plans to sign H.B. 481 the controversial “Heartbeat Bill” on Tuesday. Our panel discusses what to expect following the event.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

On the final day of the legislative session, actress Alyssa Milano and several local film and television workers held a press conference in opposition to a bill that would effectively end abortion in Georgia around 6 weeks into pregnancy.

State Rep. Ed Setzler, R-Acworth, asks questions during a committe hearing at the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta.
David Goldman / AP Photo

Georgia is on track to have the toughest abortion laws in the country – and to have that law challenged in court.

Followed by a smattering of “Shame!” from the gallery, the Georgia House gave final passage to HB 481, which would effectively ban abortion once a heartbeat is detected, around six weeks into pregnancy and before most women know they are pregnant.

Georgia State Capitol
GPB

On this edition of Political Rewind, it's the final days of the 2019 legislative session and some bills are moving at light speed while others are fighting howling headwinds.  Are some Republicans losing heart in supporting the heartbeat abortion bill?  Just what is a Frankenbill and how has it been weaponized to protect a state takeover of Hartsfield Jackson Airport?  How has the bill allowing production and distribution of medical marijuana coming down from what appeared to be a big high?  

GPB

The penultimate day of the 2019 legislative session brings discussion of medical marijuana cultivation, a controversial ban on most abortions and a proposed takeover of the airport. Next week marks Sine Die, the last day for a bill to pass both chambers and head to Gov. Brian Kemp for approval. Otherwise, the legislation will have to wait to pass until January 2020.

GPB reporter Stephen Fowler joined On Second Thought to discuss the ins and outs of the legislative session.


Stephen Fowler | GPB News

The Georgia state senate has passed a bill that would effectively ban abortions and give an embryo certain legal rights.

After nearly five hours of emotional, often personal testimony from several senators, HB 481 passed along party lines 34-18.

Senators read letters from constituents detailing their stories of abortions, shared anecdotes about pregnancy and in one case, a poem written shortly after the birth of their first daughter.

Lawmakers have only six legislative days left to debate and pass bills that could change policies all over the state. This week brought continued discussion about the potential Atlanta airport takeover and intense debate over women's reproductive rights. 

GPB politics reporter Stephen Fowler joined "On Second Thought" to discuss this week in Georgia politics.


GPB

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.