Georgia Judge Strikes Down Heartbeat Abortion Ban

by Laurel Duggan


A county judge in Georgia struck down a section of state law Tuesday that had banned abortion when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which typically occurs at around six weeks, according to court documents.

Georgia passed the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act in 2019, two years before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Because the law was passed when standing precedent prohibited most abortion restrictions throughout the first six months of pregnancy as “unconstitutional,” Fulton County Judge Robert McBurney determined the 2019 law couldn’t be enforced.

“The State and any of its agents, to include any County, Municipal, or other local authority, are hereby enjoined from seeking to enforce in any manner the post-heartbeat ban on abortion procedures in Georgia because there is no legal basis for them to do that which is not the law of this State,” McBurney wrote.

The LIFE Act required medical professionals to check for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion (except in cases of medical emergencies), barred the performance of abortions when a fetal heartbeat was detectable and required physicians to report to the Department of Public Health to justify abortions performed after a heartbeat is detected.

SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective brought the initial July lawsuit that led to the ruling.

Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp pledged to appeal the decision.

“We will appeal the court’s decision,” Kemp said in a statement, according to the Associated Press. “Georgia values life and we will keep fighting for the rights of the unborn.”

McBurney and SisterSong did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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Laurel Duggan is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation. 




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