Gov. Mike DeWine speaks before signing a bill imposing one of the nation's toughest abortion restrictions, Thursday, April 11, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. DeWine's signature makes Ohio the fifth state to ban abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat. That can come as early as five or six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they're pregnant.
Photo: Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch via AP
Photo: Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch via AP

A look at abortion bills around the U.S. in 2019 

Georgia is not the only state considering legislation this year dealing with abortions. 

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed 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. 

Louisiana -- A Senate panel advanced a heartbeat bill on April 30. 

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 -- Gov. Mike DeWine signed a heartbeat bill on April 11. The bill will take effect in July.  

South Carolina -- The House passed a hearbeat bill on April 24. This bill allows exceptions for cases of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is in danger. The Senate is considering the bill. 

Tennessee -- A heartbeat bill  has passed the state House on but failed to pass the Senate. Lawmakers later sent a trigger bill that would outlaw abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned. 

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Other states are considering different ways to restrict or in some cases expand abortion rights. 

Alabama -- Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill on May 15 that makes performing an abortion a felony punishable up to life in prison. There are no exceptions for rape or incest. The only exception would be if a mother’s life was in danger.

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. The senate is considering the bill. 

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