A Fulton County Superior Court judge in Georgia declined a request to block the state’s fetal heartbeat law that bans most abortions after six weeks.
In 2019, Georgia lawmakers passed House Bill 481, also known as the Living Infants Fairness Equality Act. The law's passage was initially blocked by a federal judge due to the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, which conferred protections for elective abortions at a federal level.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the ruling earlier this year, prompting lawmakers to ask the 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reverse the court’s decision, and a federal appeals judge approved its passage, Just The News reported.
The law’s passage prompted pro-abortion doctors and abortion rights advocates to file a lawsuit in Fulton County Superior Court to strike down the ruling. It was unsuccessful.
“The court's decision today declining to block the abortion ban is extremely disappointing and leaves in place a law that severely compromises the quality of women's healthcare in the state of Georgia,” said Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia. “Ultimately, the power is with Georgia voters to affirm our right to privacy and to make personal, private and intimate decisions without government interference.”
Abortion rights activists claim the ruling is not final, and that its passage denied immediate “emergency relief” to block HB 481.
Opponents of the law say they plan to continue their efforts to strike down the law and protect abortion rights in Georgia. The case remains ongoing.