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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp. Photo: Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Georgia became the 4th state this year to prohibit abortions once a doctor can detect the first fetal heartbeat — which can be as early as 6 weeks into pregnancy — after Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Georgia criminalizing the procedure at a point when many women remain unaware they are pregnant comes as a growing number of Republican-led state legislatures are seeking to overturn abortion rights. Many conservatives, emboldened by Justice Brett Kavanaugh's elevation last year, are hoping to land a successful suit before the Supreme Court to overturn or weaken Roe v. Wade — the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortion legal nationwide.

Details: Under current Georgia state law, abortions are allowed up to the 20th week of pregnancy. The fetal heartbeat measure includes an exception for rape and incest — but only when an "official police report has been filed" first alleging either offense — and to save the mother’s life. It would also allow abortions when a fetus is determined not to be viable due to serious medical issues.

The measure won't go into effect until January 2020. It has garnered widespread backlash and will likely be held up by legal challenges, with the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia already stating that it plans to sue.

"Georgia can't afford to go backwards on women's health and rights. We will act to block this assault on women's health, rights, and self-determination."
— Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, in a statement Monday

The state of play: Ohio Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed a similar measure into law last month, as did Mississippi's GOP Gov. Phil Bryant in March. Kentucky’s was temporarily blocked in March by a federal judge shortly after being signed into law. In January, Iowa's measure was declared unconstitutional by a state judge.

Go deeper: A surge of restrictive state abortion bans take aim at Roe v. Wade

Go deeper

The hard math behind America's labor shortage

Data: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Axios Visuals

Yes, the pandemic has created unusual temporary labor market dynamics. But in the bigger picture, the 2010s were a golden age for companies seeking cheap labor. The 2020s are not.

The big picture: In the 2010s, the massive millennial generation was entering the workforce, the massive baby bo0m generation was still hard at work, and there was a multi-year hangover from the deep recession caused by the global financial crisis.

Advocates fret Roe v. Wade's 49th anniversary could be its last

Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women's March Inc

As Saturday marks the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court's landmark decision that legalized abortion access in the U.S., advocates warn the ruling is "more at risk now than ever."

The big picture: The Supreme Court in December heard a challenge to a Mississippi 15-week abortion ban that could throw Roe's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope.

Updated 14 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies — Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker