Georgia heartbeat abortion law being overturned a ‘dominant,’ ‘defining’ issue for Senate runoff

GEORGIA — A judge overturned Georgia’s heartbeat abortion law changing the timeline on how long into a pregnancy abortions are still legal.

The ruling comes exactly three weeks before the final day of voting in the Senate runoff and brings abortion back to the top of minds as voters head back to the polls.

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Judge Robert McBurney ruled Tuesday that the heartbeat abortion law was unconstitutional when it passed in 2019 because Roe v. Wade was still law. He ruled the heartbeat law cannot be made constitutional retroactively.

With the law overturned, this now allows abortions in Georgia until to 22 weeks.

Gov. Brian Kemp released a statement that said in part the “ruling places the personal beliefs of a judge over the will of the legislature and people of Georgia.” The attorney general has already filed its notice of appeal.


But Channel 2 Action News spoke to a political analyst who said the will of the people could be heard in the Senate runoff in just three weeks.

“To me this become a dominant, defining issue for this election,” said political analyst Fred Hicks.

“Herschel Walker is on record as supporting a national ban on abortion without exceptions. Senator Warnock is on record as supporting reproductive health and a woman’s right to choose,” added Hicks.

Democrats already have control of the Senate but winning this Georgia seat would give them the ability to confirm judges faster and control committees.

For Republicans, a win would put them closer to regaining control in two years.

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But Tuesday’s ruling is reminding voters that abortion isn’t a done deal and analysts say it’s something voters will likely consider.

“We know that the vast majority of Americans do not support a ban on abortion,” said Hicks. “If the polling is right, this will certainly benefit Senator Warnock because people do not support the position that Herschel Walker has supported.”