miscarriages

Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp, who is hardly a stranger to controversy, is expected to sign an extremely restrictive and controversial anti-abortion bill that could even result in the prosecution of miscarriages.

The Kemp-backed “heartbeat” bill passed the Senate on a party-line vote of 34-18 Friday, and would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected. It still needs House approval before Kemp can sign it into law.

“Each of you sits here in judgment of a situation that you could never comprehend.”

The Georgia proposal isn’t the only one of its kind. A similar measure signed into law in Mississippi, also on Friday, is set to go into effect in July. The fetal heartbeat is typically detected at around six weeks. Most women don’t even know they’re pregnant until around that point.

“This bill takes it much, much further,” said State Sen. Jen Jordan (D-Atlanta) in her dissent. “Any woman who suffers a miscarriage could be subject to scrutiny regarding whether or not she intentionally acted to cause that miscarriage.”

This is because Georgia would be empowered to investigate whether there was any human intervention in causing any miscarriages. This is a dangerous proposition, since science isn’t entirely sure what causes a miscarriage.

As such, it is entirely possible the State of Georgia could pursue the execution of women for miscarriages — a natural biological process that terminates more than a quarter of pregnancies — as women would be required to protect a fetus they often don’t know they’re carrying.

“She would be at risk of a criminal indictment for virtually any perceived self-destructive behavior during pregnancy which could cause miscarriage, to wit: Smoking, drinking, using drugs, using legal medications; driving while under the influence, or any other dangerous or reckless conduct,” said Jordan. “Any issue of whether a woman who has participated in this risky behavior intended to cause her subsequent miscarriage — as a lawyer, I can tell you — would be a jury question.”

While this sounds like some dystopian Handmaid’s Tale-style hyperbole, it isn’t.

“I read it directly from a Georgia court case where the implications of prosecuting women for seeking abortions was laid out in no uncertain terms,” cautioned Jordan.

And Jordan made it clear that the potential criminal prosecution and execution of women who have miscarriages in Georgia is not the only dangerous outcome of the bill. There are outcomes that are far less hypothetical and far more immediate.

“And cruelest of all, to demand that a victim of incest file a police report before being able to terminate a pregnancy at its earliest stages is horrifying. Or that of a victim of rape,” Jordan said. “Each of you sits here in judgment of a situation that you could never comprehend, and dictate what a woman can and cannot do with her body, with her life.”

In a desperate move, a group of 90 Georgian business professionals sent a letter to the General Assembly asking the potentially draconian anti-abortion law not be passed and ultimately signed into law.

“Who gives this body the right to substitute its will – to override the Constitution of the United States?”

It seems unlikely those business owners will succeed where Supreme Court precedent and their interpretation of the Constitution have failed. In fact, it is entirely likely that these measures are designed specifically to provoke the Supreme Court to overturn Roe altogether.

“What gives this body the right to substitute its judgment for that of the entire medical community in this state? What gives this body the right to substitute its choices for those of the women who will no doubt bear the scars, the consequences, and who will face death, and now, likely, prison?” asked Jordan.

“Who gives this body the right to substitute its will – to override the Constitution of the United States?”

 

Katelyn Kivel is a contributing editor and senior legal reporter for Grit Post in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Follow her on Twitter @KatelynKivel.

Comments

  1. He is a disgusting person. He cares no more about children that a pedophile. People really need to investigate who is giving their cause a support. He does not have any interest in further your cause, just lining his pockets.

    1. I fully agree with you Kemp brandishing a gun at a young boys head to invoke fear intimidation reflects an unstable mind. A real sick puppy.

  2. Kemp who brandishes a rifle at a young boys head has no respect for life period. I see an unbalanced unstable mind. I see duplicitous hypocrisy if that boy was my son i eould have had that man locked up for terroristic threats and child endangerment cruelty to children. This miscarriage deal sounds like Sharia Law to me. Evangelical ISIS….DOMINISM CULT….NOT CHRISTIANITY. HES DETERMINED TO BRING GA BACK TO THE DARK AGES LIKE ALABAMA AND MISSISSIPPI 2 NOW VERY POOR POVERTY INFESTED 3RD WORLD STATES BY TRUTHFUL UN OBSERVATIONS. GOD HELPS THOSE WHO HELP THEMSELVIES. …WILLING TO SACRIFICE GOOD PAYING JOBS GA ECONOMY FOR PERSONAL BELIEFS OF THE BACK OUTER RINGS OF OUR STATE…SORRY BUT CHIC FILET DOES NOT PAY WELL OR HOBBY LOBBY EITHER. SOUNDS MORE LIKE JEALOUSY OVER ATLANTAS PROSPERITY THE BEING PRO BIRTH…..AND REDUCING WOMEN TO 2ND CLASS CITIZENS OR NOTHING LIKE IN SAUDI ARABIA. ….OR AMERICAN ISIS OF A HANDMAIDS TALE

  3. For starters Roe V. Wade it’s a women right and or choice if she wants to have a abortion . No government has the right to prosecute a woman for having a abortion. I thought this is the United States of America

  4. The man is loon!! He should not be holding an office. This so idiotic it’s ridiculous! Who does he think he is anyway!!??

  5. IF this passes and is made law, two thoughts:

    1) Businesses and everyone should boycott GA for conventions, new HQs, film, etc. just like they did in NC because of HB2 (the bathroom bill). While HB 2 was heinous, this bill is far worse because it is literally putting the lives of women at stake. And the boycotts due to HB2 were very effective….NC elected a democratic governor in the aftermath of HB2, and had a blue wave in our state legislature that broke the republican super majority, in spite of some of the worst gerrymandering in the country. If the film industry got on board with boycotting Georgia (now Hollywood South), GA would take a huge economic hit that could lead some to change their minds. If fact the film industry needs to start talking about leaving GA NOW, to prevent this bill from passing.
    2) IMHO, don’t challenge it in court. Their entire long game is for something like this to go all the way to the supreme court so they can get the new conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade. If this it passes into law, even though it sucks, I think pro-choice folks may also need to play the long game. Let this BS go into law until GA comes to its senses and elects some sane people to its state government and gets this overturned.

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