Georgia can now ban abortions after heartbeat detected, court says


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

The US Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit announced the US Supreme Court’s latest decision on Wednesday Dobbs V. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The ruling “makes it clear that there is no constitutional right to abortion, so Georgia can ban it.” The three-judge panel ruled in favor of the legislature, which in 2019 banned abortion after a fetal heartbeat was detected, or as early as about six weeks of pregnancy – sometimes before a woman knows she is pregnant.

The court ruled that the law can come into force immediately without delay.

In 2020, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia paused the abortion law, saying it violated constitutional protections against abortion established by the 1973 Supreme Court landmark Roe v. calf Verdict. Last month, the Supreme Court struck down that nearly 50-year precedent, opening the door to about half of states to ban or severely 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 illegal in these states. See where laws have changed.

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

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

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

Alice Wang, attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, told the Washington Post that while Georgia has made some efforts to help pregnant women, there are many other policies the state could enact and fund programs to help its tall mothers – and reduce infant pregnancy mortality rates, particularly for racial and ethnic minorities.

“It’s crucial that people make their own decisions about whether and when and how they want to have children,” she said.

The Feminist Women’s Health Center, an abortion provider who was among those suing the law, called the ruling “cruel.”

“We’re calling and disappointing many, many patients with appointments already made, many of whom are black and others of color, some arriving from other banned states who can no longer be seen here because of this cruelty-free decision,” the group said in a statement signed by Executive Director Kwajelyn J. Jackson.

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

She described Wednesday’s verdict as a “mic drop” moment.

“Wednesday’s decision is a powerful example of elected leaders listening to their pro-abortion voters and passing legislation they want passed,” Zoller said.

State Rep. Betsy Holland (D) called on Georgians to vote out Republicans who supported the 2019 abortion bill.

“Women have lost their reproductive freedom in GA,” she tweeted.

This is an evolving story that will be updated. Georgia can now ban abortions after heartbeat detected, court says

James Brien

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