ATLANTA — The fate of Georgia’s heartbeat abortion law comes down to a case in front of the state’s highest court.
The Georgia Supreme Court will hear arguments that will overturn or uphold the current law which bans abortions at approximately six weeks. Tuesday’s hearing is the first day that the Georgia Supreme Court will hear the case, but it could takes months before a decision is reached.
The heartbeat abortion law has been in legal battles since Gov. Brian Kemp first signed it in 2019. The courts made several key rulings on the law last year.
On July 20, a federal appeals court judge ruled the state’s heartbeat abortion law was allowed to take effect immediately. The move came weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
On Nov. 15, a Fulton County Superior Court judge overturned Georgia’s six-week ban on abortions, ruling that it violated the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court precedent when it was passed and signed into law. The law overturning meant abortions were allowed again until 22 weeks of pregnancy.
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Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr filed an immediate appeal with the Georgia Supreme Court. Carr’s office also asked the high court for an order putting the decision on hold while the appeal was pending.
On Nov. 23, the Georgia Supreme Court granted an emergency stay of the lower’s court’s ruling, which allowed the heartbeat abortion law to go into effect again as the state’s appeals continue.
As it stands currently, the heartbeat abortion law bans abortions at six weeks. Abortions after about six weeks are allowed in cases of rape and incest, as long as a police report is filed. Abortion is also allowed when a mother’s life is at risk, or if the fetus cannot survive.
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