Court allows Georgia’s “heartbeat” abortion ban to go into effect

July 20 (Reuters) – A Georgia law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks, comes into effect after a federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected a challenge by abortion providers.

Chief Justice William Pryor of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, writing before a unanimous panel of three judges, said the state had a “rational basis” for the law because of its interest in “granting an unborn child full legal recognition.” “

Georgia passed the law, which also defines “person” as an “unborn child,” in 2019. A federal judge blocked it in October before it could go into effect, noting that it violated the law established by the U.S. Supreme Court Abortion violated Roe v. Calf.

However, the Supreme Court overturned that ruling last month, clearing the way for Wednesday’s decision. Continue reading

The law went into effect after the 11th federal district, in an unusual move, issued a separate order about two hours after its decision to stay the injunction’s trial.

“This is a gross human rights violation and Planned Parenthood, along with our partners, will do everything in our power to fight back and ensure that all people receive the health care they need, regardless of where they live,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood, one of the vendors in the lawsuit, said in a statement.

Georgia Attorney General Christopher Carr’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

About half of U.S. states have sought, or are expected to seek, to ban or limit abortion following the June 24 Supreme Court ruling. Judges have largely upheld laws against legal challenges, though some, including in Utah and Kentucky, have been blocked for now. Continue reading

Georgian law contains exceptions for medical emergencies and for cases of rape or incest where a police report has been filed.

reporting by Brendan Pierson in New York; Edited by Alexia Garamfalvi, Jonathan Oatis and Diane Craft

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

Brendan Pierson

Thomson Reuters

Brendan Pierson covers product liability litigation and all aspects of healthcare law. He can be reached at