A judge on Tuesday overturned Georgia’s ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, ruling that it was unconstitutional when it was signed into law in 2019, a decision by the Supreme Court in Roe v.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled that the ban on abortion violated the US Constitution and Roe v. Wade—the 1973 Supreme Court decision that made abortion a constitutional right after a doctor detected cardiac activity — because Roe had not yet been overturned when Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (right) signed the ban into law in 2019.
The state law went into effect in July just three weeks after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and gave states the power to ban abortion for the first time in nearly 50 years.
A group of doctors and advocacy groups filed a lawsuit to overturn the 2019 law, arguing that it forces pregnancy and childbirth on women, many of whom do not know they are six weeks pregnant .
The state, which was named as a defendant in the case, argued that the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision in June effectively eroded the constitutional right to abortion.
The law makes exceptions for cases of rape and incest or when the life of the mother or fetus is in danger.
McBurney in August denied the plaintiffs' request to immediately halt the abortion ban while the lawsuit moved through the court system, but noted that the decision was a procedural one that did not speak to the merits of the case. In his Thursday ruling, McBurney said the ban could someday go back into effect, but only after the legislature passes a new law "under the intense glare of public attention."
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The office of State Attorney General Chris Carr (R) said it plans to "pursue an immediate appeal" of the decision, said spokeswoman Kara Richardson. allegedly told Axios.
Georgia joins more than a dozen other states that have upheld Roe v. Wade was overturned and an abortion ban was ordered. The Indiana Supreme Court in October extended a block on the state's nearly complete ban on abortion until at least January, after a lower court struck down the law a week after it took effect in September. Arizona must continue allowing abortions until at least Thursday, the deadline set by a state appeals court for filing briefs in a lawsuit challenging the state's abortion ban. Ohio's six-week abortion ban, which took effect hours after Roe v. Wade was overturned, has been blocked indefinitely amid a lawsuit against it. In Mississippi, however, state judge Debra K. Halford denied a request to block the state's six-week abortion ban from taking effect. The lawsuit was withdrawn after the abortion clinics that filed the lawsuit closed.
Indiana Supreme Court Stays Abortion Ban — Here's the Status of the State's Lawsuits (Forbes)
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