The US state of Georgia has passed a law protecting unborn babies from abortion once a heartbeat can be detected.
Despite threats from celebrities to boycott the state if the law changes, Georgia became the fourth state to sign such a Bill into law this year.
Governor Brian Kemp said: “The legislature’s bold action reaffirms our priorities and who we are as a state.”
‘What is right’
House Bill 481 prevents an abortion from taking place once a heartbeat can be detected, usually around the sixth week of pregnancy.
The law, which comes into effect in 2020, does not protect babies in cases of rape, incest or if the life of the mother is in danger.
Gov Kemp said: “I realise that some may challenge it in a court of law, but our job is to do what is right not what is easy.”
Prior to the vote, 50 Hollywood actors, including Alec Baldwin, Sean Penn, Ben Stiller, Michael Sheen and Amy Schumer, wrote an open letter to state lawmakers opposing the move.
They threatened, “we cannot in good conscience continue to recommend our industry remain in Georgia if H.B. 481 becomes law”.
But Gov Kemp affirmed his stance, saying: “We are called to be strong and courageous, and we will not back down.”
“We cannot change our values of who we are for money. And we’re not going to do that.”
‘A historic day’
Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio signed similar Bills into law this year, and Florida, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas are expected to follow.
Catherine Davis, a pro-life campaigner present at the signing of the Bill, said: “This is a historic day for Georgia.
“This is a day that many of us who have been in the pro-life fight for years and years didn’t really think would be possible, in light of the politics of the issue.”