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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Georgia governor signs heartbeat bill restricting state abortions

Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp has signed legislation to ban abortions in the state once a foetal heartbeat is detected, which is around six weeks.

The bill’s signing comes after weeks of protests and amid outcry for legal action against it.

“We will not back down. We will always continue to fight for life,” the governor said about expected legal challenges to the new law.

If it is not blocked in court, the law would take effect at the beginning of next year. Current state law allows abortions up to the 20th week of pregnancy.

The legislation makes exceptions to save the life of the mother and in the case of rape and incest if a police report is filed. It also makes exceptions to allow abortions when a foetus has serious medical issues.

According to The Associated Press, Republican Rep. Ed Setzler, the bill’s author, said the legislation was one of “common sense” to “balance the difficult circumstances women find themselves in with the basic right to life of a child.”

Picture: The Georgia State Capitol building is seen in Atlanta on 2nd February 2019. (CNS photo/Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports via Reuters).