Kemp pressed for special session on abortion restrictions
June 28, 2022
Inside today’s edition of Swing State Georgia:
Georgia’s 6-week abortion ban won’t go into effect immediately.
One Georgia Republican modifies his abortion stance.
A Georgia staffer in Congress ruffles feathers on abortion.
A six-week abortion ban like the one Georgia has passed isn’t enough for some anti-abortion leaders.
On Monday, Georgia Right to Life pressed Gov. Brian Kemp to call a special session of the Georgia Legislature to pass a bill that would enshrine so-called ‘personhood rights’ in the state constitution.
The move would legally define life as being “at any stage of development from fertilization to natural death,” a step that in vitro fertilization experts have said would essentially end the practice in the state.
GRTL President Ricardo Davis said activists need to “act now, while we have the opportunity,” our AJC colleague Maya T. Prabhu reported.
The group is now circulating a petition for the governor.
“No one knows what the outcome of the November election will be, and we do not have any assurance that pro-life leaders will be elected to serve in 2023,” the petition reads.
Among the supporters of the effort is Kandiss Taylor, who challenged Kemp in May’s GOP primary, and Truth in Education, which opposed the state’s Mental Health Parity Act earlier this year.
A constitutional amendment in Georgia to codify the anti-abortion language almost certainly isn’t going to happen any time soon. But that doesn’t mean supporters will just remain quiet about it.
The plan would require two-thirds of support in the Legislature, which only narrowly passed the so-called “heartbeat bill” in 2019. A statewide ballot measure would then have to win support from a majority of Georgia voters.
A call for a special session would have to come through Gov. Kemp or a vote by three-fifths of the Legislature. Asked about the chances he’ll reconvene lawmakers, Kemp’s spokeswoman said Monday that the governor is focused on implementing H.B. 481, the ‘heartbeat bill.’
Stacey Abrams, Kemp’s Democratic challenger, said through a spokesman that the Republican incumbent should be “honest with Georgians” about the intent of the anti-abortion law.
“If Brian Kemp actually cared about the health, safety, and wellbeing of Georgians, he would expand Medicaid and focus on Georgia’s maternal mortality crisis and baby formula shortage,” said the spokesman, Alex Floyd.
Georgia Life Alliance, another anti-abortion group, said it supports Kemp’s position implementing the so-called “heartbeat bill.”
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CHANGE UP. State Sen. Burt Jones, the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor, joined other GOP rivals at a pre-primary debate saying that he supports a total ban on abortion.
Asked, “Would you like to ban it straight up or keep the fetal heartbeat bill in place?” In response, Jones said, “Ban it.”
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