If a person performs an abortion in violation of the heartbeat bill, then Code Section 16-12-140 applies. It does not impose life imprisonment on anybody, and Georgia courts have held that it does not apply to a woman who self-terminates, only to third parties who perform an abortion. In Hillman v. State, the Court of Appeals of Georgia rejected the prosecution’s effort to imprison a woman who shot herself in the stomach to kill her unborn child. Interpreting Section 16-12-140, it said, “This statute is written in the third person, clearly indicating that at least two actors must be involved.” Accordingly, it “does not criminalize a pregnant woman’s actions in securing an abortion, regardless of the means utilized.”
Second, the Georgia code section that criminalizes “feticide” (such as when a man attacks a woman for the purpose of killing her unborn baby) specifically states that “nothing in this Code section shall be construed to permit the prosecution of . . . any woman with respect to her unborn child.”
Taken together, these statutes mean that a woman cannot be prosecuted either for aborting her own baby or committing feticide. If you’re still skeptical about my argument, perhaps you’ll believe a Planned Parenthood attorney responding to a query from the Washington Post.