roe v wade

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.

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.

Stephen Fowler | GPB News

By the end of the week, the Georgia Senate could join the ranks of other state legislatures when they vote on a so-called “heartbeat bill” that would effectively ban abortions about six weeks into pregnancy.

While the proposed restrictions grab headlines, abortion rights opponents say the aim of this type of bill isn’t only to limit access to the procedure, but also to trigger a Supreme Court challenge to federal protections for abortion.

Both abortion rights advocates and opponents say language in Georgia’s bill could make the case.