Law professor on ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban: ‘If a fetus is a person at 6 weeks, is that when child support starts?’

On Tuesday, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed into law one of most restrictive abortion laws the nation has yet seen, banning the procedure the very moment a fetal heartbeat can be detected — which in many cases can take place before a woman even knows she’s pregnant.

A fetal heartbeat can be detected as early as 6 weeks, prompting critics of the law to point out that many women don’t even know if they’re pregnant at that point. On Tuesday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) called the law a “backdoor” ban on abortion.

“‘6 weeks pregnant’ = 2 weeks late on your period,” she tweeted.

“Most of the men writing these bills don’t know the first thing about a woman’s body outside of the things they want from it,” she continued. “It’s relatively common for a woman to have a late period + not be pregnant.”

As usual, AOC’s tweet blew up and went viral, but getting almost equal attention was a tweet fired off by an unknown assistant law professor from Virginia, who asked some pointed hypothetical questions that go to the very heart of pro-life conservatives’ “fetal personhood” belief system.

This Thursday afternoon, Carliss Chatman tweeted the following:

“If a fetus is a person at 6 weeks pregnant, is that when the child support starts?” she wrote. “Is that also when you can’t deport the mother because she’s carrying a US citizen? Can I insure a 6 week fetus and collect if I miscarry?”

“Just figuring if we’re going here we should go all in,” she added.

The legal director of the ACLU, Sean Young, says the group will challenge Georgia’s new abortion law in court.

“Under 50 years of Supreme Court precedent, this abortion ban is clearly unconstitutional,” Young said told The Associated Press. “Every federal court that has heard a challenge to a similar ban has ruled that it’s unconstitutional.”

Currently, Georgia law allows women to seek out an abortion up to 20 weeks of a pregnancy. If the new law is not blocked in court, it will go into effect on January 1, the AP reports.

Featured image: screen grab/The Telegraph

To Top