Georgia abortion regulation might take months

ATLANTA – Georgia’s controversial heartbeat law is under scrutiny. It was passed in 2019, but a federal judge rejected it, calling it unconstitutional.

On Friday, the US 11th Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in the case of Sister Song Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective et al. v. Georgia State Governor et al., Complainant.

The Group on Reproductive Rights for Women of Color argues that the Heartbeat Act goes too far in limiting abortions. Georgia’s law forbids abortions in most cases after a fetal heartbeat is detected, usually around six weeks.

However, it might take a while to clarify the future of Georgia’s abortion law. While the appeals court did not issue a decision on Friday, the judges announced they would await a Mississippi Supreme Court ruling that could instruct them in Georgia. The women’s health organization Dobbs v. Jackson wants to limit abortion after 15 weeks.

Legal analyst Page Pate said the ruling had the potential to set nearly 50 years of precedent in Roe v. Tilt your calf.

“The Supreme Court could also take several months to deliver an opinion,” said Pate. “This case here in Atlanta could be pending for months, even up to a year. If the Supreme Court gutted Roe or changed the scope to say that a state can not only impose regulations but a total ban on abortion once it is found to have six weeks or a fetal heartbeat, it would be a dramatic change in constitutional law. “

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Pate predicts the Supreme Court ruling could spark further litigation.

Sean Young, the Georgia ACLU legal director, said the Supreme Court did not overturn Roe when it allowed a Texan law that in most cases bans abortions from being in effect after six weeks in most cases.

“The Supreme Court precedent was clear that one cannot redefine what it means to be a person to prohibit abortion and violate fundamental rights,” said Young. “Ultimately, it’s about letting them choose, letting women make their own health choices, and letting women and couples decide when to start a family or how to expand a family.”

However, Emily Matson, chair of the Georgia Life Alliance, believes the standard of profitability for abortion is out of date. She argues that Roe v. Wade should be updated due to the easier accessibility of more modern technology.

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“We have a better picture in the womb, the child is more likely to survive in an earlier state than it was in 1973,” said Matson. “I think the humanity of the unborn child is greater. What we see is a more modern confrontation between a woman’s right to terminate this pregnancy and that child’s right to life. “

“Everything has changed,” said Joshua Edmonds, executive director of the Georgia Life Alliance, in a statement. “In today’s oral arguments it was perfectly clear that the 11th for a child in the womb are constitutional. The abortion advocates’ own lawyer even agreed that Roe v. Wade is no longer a matter of permanent law. Georgia’s ability to get the rest of the Heartbeat Bill through will depend on the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs this coming June. Georgia continues to lead the nation by showing that life is valuable in all circumstances, both in and out of the womb. “

Another pro-life group, Georgia Right to Life, made this statement in response to the district court’s oral hearing on the Georgia Heartbeat Act:

“Our mission is to protect human life regardless of age or method of conception. Regardless of the verdict, in this case, the ultimate solution to ending abortion in Georgia is to pass an undisputed personhood amendment to the state constitution if Roe is overturned and states are allowed to protect the weakest among us. “

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on the Mississippi case on December 1st. It can then take several months for a judgment to be reached. In the meantime, the Georgian abortion law remains stalled.