Protesters fill steps of Capitol to rally against heartbeat abortion law

ATLANTA — Groups opposing Georgia’s new heartbeat abortion law expect to file lawsuits against it by the end of the summer.

Protesters in Atlanta and around the country rallied Tuesday against the strict abortion legislation.

[READ: Gov. Brian Kemp signs anti-abortion 'Heartbeat' bill into law]

Nearly 1,000 people from several groups, including members of the American Civil Liberties Union and Planned Parenthood, took to the steps of the state Capitol on Tuesday to rally against the newly signed law that effectively bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and has exceptions for rape, incest and if the mother's life is in danger.

A rally against Georgia’s new Heartbeat Abortion Law is underway at the State Capitol.

Posted by Richard Elliot on Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The protesters told Channel 2 political reporter Richard Elliot that they want to fight the new heartbeat law in court, but also want to run candidates against lawmakers who voted for it.

“Our goal is to file (a lawsuit) by this summer and we are working feverishly even as we speak,” said ACLU Georgia’s Andrea Young. “You have our commitment. We will do everything within our power.”

Gov. Brian Kemp signed HB 481, also known as the heartbeat bill, into law a few weeks ago. Monday, he told Elliot that he expected protests over it.


“Look, I’m sure people will protest. People protested during the session, but a lot of these folks are the same people that worked against me in the election. They said the same thing after I was sworn in, and now they’re saying the same thing after I did what I promised Georgians I would do,” Kemp said.

State Sen. Jen Jordan fought the bill in the legislature and told Elliot that she expects the case and others will go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.

[READ: Producer Ron Howard says he will boycott Georgia if abortion law takes effect]

In the meantime, she plans to lead the effort to campaign against every Georgia lawmaker who voted for it.

“If you don’t agree with this, or you think this is bad for the state of Georgia, then you need to make sure these people are not reelected next year,” Jordan told the crowd.

[READ: Gov. Kemp doubles down on signing heartbeat abortion bill]

During Tuesday’s rally, Elliot also spoke with Atlanta City Councilman Amir Farokhi. He authored a resolution passed by the council Monday, urging Fulton and DeKalb county district attorneys to not prosecute under the new law.

"The resolution was just that, a resolution to frankly stand in solidarity with the district attorneys in the metro region who said they're not going to prosecute any who may violate the new law,” Farokhi said.

The heartbeat law is slated to go into effect Jan. 1.

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