How Gerrymandering Leads to Radical Abortion Laws
Georgia's "fetal heartbeat" bill never would have passed if the state legislature truly reflected the voters' political preferences.
By David Daley
May 14, 2019
Stacey Abrams still hasn’t conceded that she lost to Brian Kemp in last year’s gubernatorial race in Georgia, and perhaps justifiably so. Kemp, formerly the secretary of state there, administered his own election, shuttered precincts in black communities, and presided over a last-minute voting roll purge that targeted predominantly minority voters. Despite all that help, he eclipsed Abrams by fewer than 55,000 votes—another sign of how purple Georgia has become.
Last week, however, the state legislature enacted—and Kemp signed—one of the most extreme “fetal heartbeat” abortion prohibitions in the nation. HB 481, which declares that “unborn children are a class of living, distinct persons,” limits abortions to the first six weeks of pregnancy. If the law is allowed to take effect in January—rather than being held up in the courts—women who miscarry could be investigated by the state to determine whether their pregnancy ended unintentionally or with the help of a doctor or an abortion pill.