On Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, ignoring threats from the Hollywood community that they would boycott his state if he signed the so-called “heartbeat bill” which would ban abortions if a fetal heartbeat can be detected, signed it with a flourish, stating, “(The bill) is very simple but also very powerful: a declaration that all life has value, that all life matters, and that all life is worthy of protection. I realize that some may challenge it in a court of law. But our job is to do what is right, not what is easy. We are called to be strong and courageous, and we will not back down. We will always continue to fight for life.”
House Bill 481 is similar to bills in other states; in January an Iowa state judge struck down the state’s “fetal heartbeat” law, which had been signed into law in May 2018 by Gov. Kim Reynolds, who said, “I understand and anticipate that this will likely be challenged in court. However, this is bigger than just a law. This is about life … It is immoral to stop an innocent beating heart … my faith leads me to protect every Iowan, no matter how small.” Republican state Sen. Rick Bertrand had said when the bill was debated, “This bill will be the vehicle that will ultimately provide change and provide the opportunity to overturn Roe v. Wade. There’s nothing hidden here about the agenda.”
In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant signed a law in March that banned abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, anticipating the possibility of lawsuits and saying he wasn’t worried: “They don’t have to sue us. It’s up to them. If they do not believe in the sanctity of life, these that are in organizations like Planned Parenthood, we will have to fight that fight. But it is worth it.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed a similar bill in April, asserting, “The signing of this bill today is consistent with that respect for life and the imperative to protect those who cannot protect themselves.”
The Writers Guild of America East and West slammed HB481, saying it “would make Georgia an inhospitable place for those in the film and television industry … It is entirely possible that many of those in our industry will either want to leave the state or decide not to bring productions there.”
As The Daily Wire reported in late March, 50 actors sent a letter written by abortion advocate Alyssa Milano to Georgia House Speaker David Ralston and Kemp threatening the state of Georgia with a boycott if the state passed H.B. 481.
H.B. 481 states that the “full value of a child begins when a heartbeat exists” and requires “physicians performing abortions to determine the existence of a detectable human heartbeat before performing an abortion,” stating, “it shall be the policy of the State of Georgia to recognize unborn children as natural persons,” and asserting “unless otherwise provided by law, any natural person, including an unborn child with a detectable human heartbeat, shall be included in population based determinations.”