A federal appeals court’s decision on the constitutionality of a Georgia law banning abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy has been delayed until the US Supreme Court rules on the validity of a 15-week ban in Mississippi.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit stayed the case pending a decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., scheduled for a Dec. 1 hearing in the nation’s highest court.

Chief Justice William H. Pryor Jr. indicated that the Eleventh Circuit would retain the case during oral arguments over Georgia’s interdiction earlier this month.

Georgia law is one of the strictest in the United States. It bans doctors from performing abortions once cardiac activity has been detected in a fetus, similar to what happened in Texas, which recently drew a lot of attention. About 87% of abortions in Georgia in 2019 were performed under this brand, according to providers.

Dobbs initially concerned only Mississippi law. As in Georgia, it bans abortion before profitability.

But the state and numerous anti-abortion groups asked the country’s top court to use the case to try Roe v. Wade to overrule the landmark case establishing a woman’s right to terminate a pregnancy before it is viable. If that is the case, the controversy surrounding Georgia’s law would end, Pryor said.

Pryor began the argument by asking District Attorney Jeffrey Harris of Consovoy McCarthy PLLC if it wouldn’t be “wiser” to simply wait for the Supreme Court to rule on Dobbs.

It’s not often that a court gets a case where the Supreme Court is likely to do most of the work for it, he said.

Elizabeth Watson, representing the challengers to the law, agreed. But she cautioned that Dobbs might not go as far as overriding Roe.

Questions about the validity of the six-week law will go unanswered if the judges are content to rule only that Mississippi’s 15-week law is in effect, she said. Watson is an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project.

Judge Barbara Lagoa agreed with Pryor. Judge Harvey Schlesinger of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, who is sitting by his determination, did not comment.

A lower federal court blocked Georgia’s law, and it is currently not in effect.

The Eleventh Circuit issued the unsigned residency order Monday.

The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and Sean J. Young of Atlanta represent providers in the Eleventh Circle. Consovoy McCarthy PLLC and the Georgia Attorney General’s Office represent the state.

Planned Parenthood is funded by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the non-profit organization founded by Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg Law is operated by companies controlled by Michael Bloomberg.

The case is SisterSong Women of Color Reprod. Justice Collective v. Governor, 11th Cir., No. 20-13024, 09/27/21.