Kemp signs abortion bill 03

Protesters gather outside the Georgia Capitol Tuesday after Gov. Brian Kemp signed the LIFE Act, which bans most abortions after a doctor is able to detect a fetal heartbeat.

With Georgia’s abortion law possibly becoming much more restrictive in the near future, the city of Atlanta is doing what it can to give women options on where to find reproductive healthcare.

At its meeting Nov. 18 at City Hall, the Atlanta City Council voted to approve a resolution to launch a Reproductive Justice Commission (legislative reference No. 19-R-4931).

The commission will “provide recommendations related to increasing awareness of ways to access comprehensive reproductive care as well as advancing policies to improve public health outcomes,” a news release stated.

In May the governor signed into law House Bill 481, also known as the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act and the heartbeat bill, after the House and Senate approved it in March. The new law reduces the definition for when a baby’s fetal heartbeat is detectable from 20 weeks to six weeks, meaning abortions won’t be allowed after the six-week mark.

It is one of several similar abortion bills passed into law by states across the country in the past two years. Like other states’ laws, Georgia’s is being challenged in the courts as unconstitutional. It was going to take effect Jan. 1, but Oct. 1, U.S. District Court Judge Steve Jones temporary blocked it.

According to the resolution document posted to the city’s website, the commission “would also conduct policy research and make recommendations as to how the city of Atlanta, within its charter, can best improve public health outcomes related to reproductive, maternal and infant health and abortion access in Atlanta.”

The resolution was to be voted on at the council’s Nov. 4 meeting but held until the next one.

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