Georgia is not the only state considering legislation this year dealing with abortions.
Georgia lawmakers have sent Gov. Brian Kemp a bill that would ban most abortions once a doctor can detect a “heartbeat” in the womb — which supporters say happens around six weeks of pregnancy, before many women realize they are pregnant. Kemp has said he will sign the bill.
Several other Southern states have either passed or are considering heartbeat bills. Here’s a look at the status of those bills:
Kentucky -- Gov. Matt Bevin signed a bill on March 9 that would make abortion after a heartbeat is detected a felony with the only exception being when a mother’s life is in danger. Hours later a federal judge temporarily blocked the law. Five days after that, a judge blocked another Kentucky law that sought to ban abortion for reasons of race, gender and disability. Both laws have been suspended while a federal judge considers lawsuits challenging them.
Missouri -- On Feb. 27, the state House has passed a massive anti-abortion bill that would prohibit the procedure after a heartbeat is detected and also ban all abortions if there’s is a change in federal law -- known as a trigger bill. Georgia lawmakers had introduced a trigger bill earlier this year, and Gov. Brian Kemp backed it. That bill did not advance.
Mississippi -- Gov. Phil Bryant signed a heartbeat bill on March 21. Last year, a judge blocked a less-restrictive bill that would’ve banned abortion after 15 weeks.
Ohio -- The state Senate has approved a heartbeat bill on March 13. In previous years, state lawmakers had twice sent heartbeat bills to John Kasich’s desk when he was governor, and he vetoed them. During his campaign, the current Gov. Mike DeWine said he would sign a heartbeat bill.
Tennessee -- A heartbeat bill has passed the state House on March 7.
Other states are considering different ways to restrict or in some cases expand abortion rights.
Arkansas -- Gov. Asa Hutchinson has signed two anti-abortion bills this year. On Feb 19, he signed a bill legislation that would outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade is reversed. The other bill, which bans abortion after 18 weeks, was signed on March 15.
New York -- On Jan. 22, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a law that codifies Roe v. Wade into state law, which would allow abortions to remain legal even if the court decision is overturned. Late-term abortions are now legal if a mother’s life is threatened or the fetus is not viable. The law also allows health care professionals such as nurse practitioners or physician assistants to perform abortions.
Oklahoma -- The state Senate approved a bill on March 14 that proposes a constitutional amendment ballot issue that would allow voters to indicate that the state constitution does not protect the right to an abortion.
Vermont -- The state House passed a bill on Feb. 21 that would declare a right to abortions without restrictions.
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