The Independent's journalism is supported by our readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn commission.

Brian Kemp and the state of Georgia promises to protect you — so long as you're not born yet

Kemp also wants to de-fund sanctuary cities, just like Jesus would have wanted

Holly Baxter
New York
Tuesday 07 May 2019 18:27 BST
Comments
Brian Kemp signed a controversial bill into law today which does not include exceptions for rape or incest
Brian Kemp signed a controversial bill into law today which does not include exceptions for rape or incest (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

Abortions after six weeks of pregnancy will now be illegal in the state of Georgia, after Governor Brian Kemp signed a “fetal heartbeat bill” into law this morning which prohibits doctors from performing abortions after there’s a detectable heartbeat. At six weeks, a fetus is the size of a pea, and doesn’t have arms, legs oorr a face. It doesn’t have a neural tube connecting the brain to the spinal cord. It is, essentially, one missed period. But it now has more rights than the living, breathing, thinking, feeling mother it’s implanted inside.

I once saw a woman carrying a baby with the slogan “Now that I’m safe, I’m pro-choice” emblazoned on it (i’m still not sure whether she was a liberal with a dark sense of humor or a pro-lifer trying to make a point through the age-old medium of infant fashion.) It made me laugh guiltily, which I presume was the intended reaction. A lot of people could have accused it of being in poor taste. I can’t imagine sales were astronomical.

What might make for a more successful line of baby clothing in the state of Georgia this week would be hats, onesies and T-shirts stating: “Now I’m alive, Brian Kemp doesn’t care about me”. Because even as Kemp evangelized about how we must “protect the innocent, champion the vulnerable” and “speak for those who are unable to speak for themselves” today, his record on protecting and championing human beings post-birth leaves a lot to be desired.

Kemp, who defeated former State Representative Stacey Abrams by one percentage point in a controversial election last year, had his campaign partially funded by businesses he is supposed to regulate. He was criticized in particular for using a legal loophole to accept money from a massage business where a series of sexual assault complaints had been made — and no one had had their license revoked. What he did wasn’t technically illegal, though many would say it was ethically dubious. Today, he said that the Georgia heartbeat bill had to strike a balance between “the interest of women” as enshrined in Roe v Wade and “the right thing”.

Where championing the vulnerable is concerned, Kemp has made clear that that stance doesn’t extend to immigrants illegally entering the United States after fleeing personal or economic hardship; instead, he’s pledged to speed up deportations and create a new “criminal alien database”. In one ad during his campaign last year, he claimed he owns a truck “just in case I need to round up criminal illegals and take ‘em home myself.” He supports defunding sanctuary cities, too, just like Jesus would have wanted.

Alabama proposes law to make abortion punishable by up to 99 years in prison

Kemp also thinks that if you don’t force children in schools to recite the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, you’re instead forcing them “to adopt anti-American ideology”. He carries a gun (another famously Christian strategy) and jokes about threatening his daughter’s suitors with it. If you’re not currently renting someone else’s womb, then watch out, folks, because you’re fair game!

What I look forward to most after the success of this fetal heartbeat bill is the slew of other legislation Kemp will surely bring in to ensure that the unintended consequences - teenagers with health problems because they gave birth too young, families crippled by medical expenses for severely ill or dying children, women and children living in abject poverty - don’t turn his state into an utter hellhole. Raising state taxes and implemented a state-wide Medicare-for-all healthcare system must be top of the list. Women’s empowerment programs to ensure that the people who will carry the burden of these extra pregnancies don’t fall behind financially or socially will presumably get a big funding boost. Strict and stringent laws restricting the movement and finances of biological fathers will come across the governor’s desk any moment, I’m sure. And perhaps Kemp can take inspiration from the anti-male masturbation bill which almost become law in Texas in 2017, since he cares so much about the rights of the unborn. Considering how much seed — sorry, how many precious potential lives – can be spilled in a single act of male masturbation, I’d say that should be a priority.

Georgia State Representative Ed Setzler said in support of the heartbeat bill today that even a preschooler would tell you a six-week-old fetus is a baby. He’s dead right there. A preschooler understanding of science might well lead you to think of a six-week collection of cells as a “baby”. A preschooler understanding of politics might also cause you to assume that forcing girls and women to carry unwanted fetuses to full term — fetuses which may be the product of rape and incest, or which may have conditions which mean they will die at birth – will have little to no negative effects on the state you lead. And these are the people legally elected to lead an entire state in the United States of America. Or are they?

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in