A federal appeals court is waiting to decide whether a Georgian pro-life law should continue to be blocked pending the Supreme Court ruling on the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization case.

The 11th District Court of Appeals heard arguments on September 24 to consider lifting an injunction blocking the entry into force of the 2019 Heartbeat Act. Similar to a recent Texas law, the Georgia law would prohibit abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Exceptions to the law are cases where a child was conceived through rape or incest while a report was made to the police, as well as cases where the mother’s health was at risk or the baby would not survive the birth due to an illness.

The law would also give an unborn child personality rights.

District chief judge William Pryor said it was “the prudent way to wait for the Supreme Court to rule on the fate of the legality of restrictions on the viability of abortions.”

While the law under consideration in Dobbs prohibits abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy rather than the 6th week of pregnancy, Pryor noted the similarities between the laws, saying it was “not every day” that “the Supreme Court” [can] do something for us. “

In July 2020, the District Court for the Northern District of Georgia ruled that Georgia law was unconstitutional.

The verdict came in a lawsuit against the 2019 Act filed by abortion providers and an abortion advocacy group.

In his ruling, US District Judge Steve Jones wrote: “The Supreme Court has repeatedly and unequivocally ruled that under no circumstances can a state prohibit or prohibit abortions until they are viable.”

“The court has no choice but to declare it unconstitutional,” Jones wrote at the time. Jones criticized the law, calling it an attempt to “ban or de facto ban abortion”.

Georgia appealed the verdict to the 11th District.

“Viability” is the 24th week of pregnancy, if a child can survive outside the uterus. The earliest baby ever to survive was born at 21 weeks.

Abortion is legal in Georgia until the 20th week of pregnancy.

The Supreme Court will hear his arguments in Dobbs on December 1st. He is expected to rule on the case in June.