Georgia can now ban abortions after heartbeat detected, court rules


A Georgia law banning most abortions was set to go into effect on Wednesday after an appeals court overturned a lower court’s break on the state’s 2019 “heartbeat” measure.

The United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit on Wednesday declared the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Org. The decision “makes it clear that no rights to abortions exist under the Constitution, so Georgia may ban them.” The three-judge panel ruled in favor of the state legislature, which in 2019 banned termination of pregnancy after a fetal heartbeat is detected, or as early as around six weeks into pregnancy — sometimes before a woman does not know that she is pregnant.

The court ruled that the law could come into effect immediately without delay.

In 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia suspended the abortion law, saying it violated constitutional abortion protections established by the 1973 Supreme Court landmark. Roe vs. Wade decision. Last month, the Supreme Court overturned that nearly 50-year-old precedent, opening the door for about half of the states to ban or strictly restrict abortion.

On Wednesday afternoon, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R) said the law would go into effect immediately, according to CBS affiliate WALB.

Abortion is now prohibited in these states. See where the laws have changed.

Governor Brian Kemp (R), in a video alongside his wife, said he was “overjoyed” with the decision, and that the state has increased resources for pregnant women.

“Today’s decision by the 11th Circuit affirms our promise to protect life at all stages,” Kemp said.

First Lady Marty Kemp, said the state is strengthening pregnancy and parenting resources.

Alice Wang, an attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the Washington Post that while Georgia has made efforts to help pregnant women, there are many other policies the state could adopt and programs it could fund. to reduce its high rate of maternal and infant mortality. death rates, especially for racial and ethnic minorities.

“It is crucial that people decide for themselves if, when and how to have children,” she said.

The Feminist Women’s Health Center, an abortion provider that was among those suing to stop the law, called the decision “cruel”.

“We are calling and disappointing very many patients with appointments already scheduled, many of whom are black and other people of color, some who travel from other prohibited states, who will no longer be able to be seen here because of this cruel decision,” the group said in a statement signed by executive director Kwajelyn J. Jackson.

Martha Zoller, executive director of Georgia Life Alliance, the state’s largest pro-life group, told the Post that her organization expects the 2019 bill to be upheld after the Supreme Court ruling. on Dobbs rendered last month.

She called Wednesday’s decision a “mic drop” moment.

“Wednesday’s decision is a strong example of how elected leaders are listening to their constituents who have been on the pro-life side of abortion and making laws they want to see passed,” Zoller said.

State Rep. Betsy Holland (D) urged Georgians to vote against Republicans who supported the 2019 abortion law.

“Women have lost the freedom to procreate in GA,” she tweeted.

This is a developing story that will be updated.


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