Georgia governor backs bill to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is nixed

Gov. Brian Kemp wants Georgia lawmakers to pass a “trigger law” that would ban almost all abortions in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision is overturned.

The Republican’s endorsement of the measure opens a new front over cultural legislation at the Georgia Statehouse and stoked fierce opposition from Democrats and abortion rights advocates. But it was feted by some conservatives who have long demanded new abortion restrictions — and are eager to hold Kemp to his promise to pass the nation’s strictest abortion limits.

The legislation, introduced Thursday in the Georgia House by Kemp’s allies at his behest, would punish anyone who performs abortions with up to 10 years in prison and a fine of as much as $100,000. It would carve out exceptions in cases of rape, incest, medical emergencies and medical futility.

If it passes, the new limits would only take effect if two other things happened first: The U.S. Supreme Court would have to overrule the central holding in the landmark 1973 ruling, which established a nationwide right to abortion. Then, the General Assembly would have to pass a joint resolution signed by the governor.

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