In a move usually considered more appropriate for a basketball court than a courtroom, two Republican lawmakers in Georgia celebrated their passing of an abortion ban in the state with a fist bump, Marie Claire reports.
The gesture was shared between State Senator Bruce Thompson and State Representative Ed Setzler as the two touched knuckles prior to the signing of the bill.
The bill, titled the “Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act,” was signed into law by Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp. A so-called “fetal heartbeat bill,” the law bans abortion beginning when a heartbeat can be detected in the womb, often as early as six weeks into a pregnancy and before many women would even know they are pregnant.
In addition, the legislation amends existing Georgia state laws to redefine the concept of personhood, defining a person as “any human being including an unborn child.” Under that definition, fetuses and embryos would be considered dependent minors for tax purposes and will be included in tallies such as state population counts.
Not included in the bill are any measures that would put in place support for mothers now required by legislation to carry a pregnancy to term or that would otherwise deliver resources for such mothers in need
As Thomson and Setzler celebrated their legislative victory, advocates for women’s rights in Georgia joined a growing chorus nationwide as a number of states have passed increasingly strong abortion bans.
For example, shortly after the passing of the Georgia bill, Republicans in Alabama passed a law banning abortion with no exception for rape or incest. Both the woman seeking the procedure and the doctor participating could, under that law, face a sentence of up to 99 years in prison. As a result, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood, and other advocacy groups continue to organize in opposition to such bills.
— The Hill (@thehill) May 18, 2019
“Horrified? Anxious? Pissed off? Totally understandable — these bills are a blatant violation of constitutional rights. But, before you’re swallowed up in cloud of apathy, hopelessness, or despondency, you need to know that this fight is far from over,” writes Ineye Komonibo for Marie Claire. You can read up on the stances of the 2020 presidential election hopefuls on reproductive rights to make sure that your vote will be as informed as possible.”
The Georgia bill and the others similarly passed each run contrary to the long-standing law of the land as established by the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade. Any one of those bills, if selected to be considered by the Supreme Court, could be declared unconstitutional themselves or else upend that long-standing precedent.