With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, Georgia state law H.B. 481, which supports mothers and restricts abortions, has finally gone into effect. Included in H.B. 481 is a ban on abortions after 6 weeks, a legal definition of life as beginning in the womb, and a  $3,000 tax credits to mothers. This three-year-old state law was previously blocked by the court system as it violated Roe v. Wade’s federal abortion mandate.  

H.B. 481 passed Georgia’s Republican state legislature in 2019, with many Republicans doubting the law would ever be enacted. This is because conservatives generally believed they wouldn’t see the overturning of Roe v. Wade in their life time. However, with the end of the federal abortion mandate, trigger laws, like H.B. 481, are being enacted in Republican states across the country.  

The key provision in H.B. 481 is the legal redefinition of “life” to explicitly include the unborn. Under Georgia law, unborn children are now persons and are even counted in census surveys as legal residents of the state. With this single redefinition comes a multitude of legal implications that H.B. 481 refers to as “personhood provisions.” 

Abortion advocates often claim that there would be a variety of legal contradictions if fetuses were to be given personhood status. They cite that by recognizing the rights of fetuses, you violate a women’s constitutional right to health, by which they mean a right to kill babies. But, H.B. 481 shows no legal complications result from recognizing the unborn as persons. In fact, this legal status is more logically consistent and helps to support mothers and prevent abortions.  

Since the unborn in Georgia qualify as persons, mothers can file for child support once a fetal heart beat is detected and fathers will be required to financially support the family. Mothers in Georgia can also receive $3,000 in tax credits by claiming their embryos and fetuses as dependents. Thus, in addition to protecting the unborn, H.B. 481 discourages fathers from abandoning their children and creates a safety net for pregnant women.   

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp was elated with the enactment of H.B. 481, which is also known as the “Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act.” He had the following to say after the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the injunction blocking the state law: 

“Since taking office in 2019, our family has committed to serving Georgia in a way that cherishes and values each and every human being, and today’s decision by the 11th Circuit affirms our promise to protect life at all stages.” 

This news should encourage true conservatives across the country to demand more from their state legislatures. With Biden in office, a federal ban on abortions is unlikely to happen. But, in the meantime, Republican states must create pro-life havens to combat California and New York’s pro-baby killing agenda.   

 

 

 

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