The Politics of an Unborn Child’s Heartbeat: Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act
Updated: Jul 3, 2020
For those of us who believe that life begins at conception, the unborn child’s development of a heartbeat is an awe-inspiring milestone. The pro-abortion crowd believes it is meaningless.
On Tuesday, May 7 the Governor of Georgia, Brian Kemp, signed the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act into law, effective January 1, 2020.
The bill has stirred a lot of controversy and a lot of opposition, and will certainly end up in court. The governor vowed to fight.
“Our job is to do what is right, not what is easy,” he said. “We are called to be strong and courageous, and we will not back down.”
Since abortion is such a divisive and controversial topic, it’s hard to know what propaganda is true when laws like this are passed. I decided to try to get to some truths by reading the bill myself.
I am not a lawyer, so what follows is my understanding of what I read.
In short, the bill says that once an unborn child has a detectable heartbeat, that child is recognized as a person, and an abortion after a heartbeat is detected is homicide.
The bills allows for an abortion after the detection of a heartbeat when the woman has a medically futile pregnancy, a medical emergency existed, or the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest (which must have been reported to authorities).
The woman must be told by the physician the medical risks with the abortion procedure, the probably gestation age and presence of a detectable heartbeat, and the medical risks with carrying the unborn child to term.
For all abortions, physicians must report if there is a detectable heartbeat and the probable gestation age, the method for the abortion, and if a heartbeat exists the basis for determining the exemption.
In addition, the bill limits child support for an unborn child to direct medical and pregnancy related expenses and recognizes unborn children with a heartbeat as dependents for income tax purposes.
Many pro-life advocates believe the physician performing the abortion should be prosecuted and the woman should be exempt. I did not see anything in this bill that addressed that issue.
One thing I’ve read from pro-abortion advocates is that women who get an abortion in another state can be prosecuted. I didn’t see anything in this bill that would support that claim.
Here is the link if you want to read it for yourself: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/5787775-HB-481.html