Opinion: ‘Heartbeat’ bill reflects well on Ga.’s core beliefs

Georgia’s Gold Dome.

Combined ShapeCaption
Georgia’s Gold Dome.

When Alyssa Milano strolled into the Georgia Capitol a few weeks ago, the cameras immediately surrounded the liberal actress, giving her a platform to pontificate. It was a literal media circus.

She doesn’t live in our state, as State Rep. Dominic LaRiccia, R-Douglas, pointed out. She doesn’t have a stake in the policies or directions our state chooses to take. But, she – and others of varied Hollywood fame – were given a voice to express their pro-abortion views.

Throughout the debate on the “Heartbeat Bill,” many expressed their thoughts on why our state shouldn’t be in the business of protecting the unborn. Lobbyists from the abortion industry spoke in hearings and various members of the aforementioned film industry paraded for the cameras. Politicians who took money from Planned Parenthood were heard alongside national Democrat Party figures looking for a quick score.

But, who wasn’t heard? Those this policy most affects – the unborn, the voiceless who cannot speak for themselves.

With all the debate on heartbeats, there was no opportunity for these beating hearts to be heard. Those who are financed and famous were given the stage and they chose not to advocate for those that society often does not consider.

That’s not the kind of state I want for my children. These notions run counter to the vision that Georgians voted for last November. Instead, we affirmed a vision of putting Georgians, all Georgians, ahead of special interests and ahead of politics.

Gov. Kemp ran on a platform that was not simply “more conservative” or “more Republican.” Instead, he ran to fundamentally alter the way government prioritizes our state – policies that wouldn’t be determined by the wealthy, the powerful, and the connected. Putting Georgians first meant creating a state where right would be done by the voiceless and downtrodden.

HB 481 is a defining moment for Georgia – one that will determine whether we will fully embrace our commitment to putting the people of Georgia first.

Yes, these babies are people. At 6 weeks, they have a detectable heartbeat. They have all the DNA they will ever have. It’s already determined whether they will have grandma’s curls, grandpa’s chin, daddy’s ears, or mommy’s eyes. They are forming arms and legs, facial features, the neural tube, organs, and the cells that will determine whether they are male or female.

What they don’t have at 6 weeks? The ability to speak. No one profits financially from their life, and they cannot afford a lobbyist. And, unlike Alyssa Milano they don’t have fawning media ready for the next big story when they walk into a building.

They are, however, valuable. They are people. They are Georgians, and they deserve to be put first.

In passing this heartbeat bill – different from other states because it recognizes the rights of the unborn as people worthy of protection – our state is charting a bold course to defend the voiceless and innocent. This is a critical moment where we can determine what we want our future to be.

Gov. Kemp’s promise to Georgians, all Georgians, was fulfilled in his first session with HB 481 and countless other pieces of legislation that were determined by their merit and rightness. Now, it’s up to us whether we embrace this as a path that will guide us in every policy decision for years to come.

Cole Muzio is president and executive director of Family Policy Alliance of Georgia.