The Supreme Court of Georgia reinstates the state’s abortion ban on 6 weeks of pregnancy. The same law was validated by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney, only a week ago.
The reinstating of the ban closes doors to abortions even before many people find out about their pregnancy. This ruling is causing a widespread outbreak saying that it’s against basic human rights and reproductive rights.
The ban which got restored is jeopardizing pregnant women, health workers, and abortion providers. This is traumatizing for the women and their partners who are facing unplanned pregnancies and those who don’t want to keep the conceived child. Pregnancies due to contraceptive failure would not be detected in the earlier stages.
Cardiac function of a conception could only be detected around six weeks into the pregnancy through an ultrasound test. During this period the embryo would be transforming into a heart and begin to produce heartbeats.
Advocates and attorneys are pressing to overturn the ban which came in a single-page order. The justices had put the earlier overturning of the law on hold and would be considering appeals regarding this.
Alice Wang, an attorney with the Centre for Reproductive Rights who represented the abortion providers said that it is outrageous that this extreme law is back in effect, just days after being rightfully blocked. She continued that this legal ping-pong is causing chaos for medical providers trying to do their jobs and for patients who are now left frantically searching for the abortion services they need.
In 2019 when it was signed into law, the U.S. Supreme Court precedent established by Roe v. Wade and another ruling granted abortion for pregnancies that are past six weeks. Based on this, on November 15, Judge Robert McBurney observed Georgia’s abortion ban to be invalid.
This decision immediately outlawed the state-wide enforcement of the abortion ban. Abortions past 6 weeks had resumed after this and a few health workers mentioned that they were proceeding carefully over concerns the ban could be reinstated shortly afterward.
Judge McBurney in his verdict wrote that the timing made the law immediately invalid as it was green flagged by the State Legislature, and the bill was signed by Brian Kemp of the Republican government in 2019. Before this, Roe v. Wade had been overruled by the US Supreme Court.
He further wrote that the legislatures exceed their authority when they enact laws that violate a constitutional right declared by the judicial branch and in order to enact this the State Legislature would have to pass it again.
The office of the state general attorney on the ruling of McBurney commented that it has no basis in law, precedent, or common sense.
It was defended by the attorneys of the plaintiff in a reply and warning that quoted it exactly as irreparable harm that women would have to face on putting it on hold. The attorneys also requested a 24 hours notice to the high court before the issuing of any stay.
This is said to avoid the potential chaos for the women who are waiting for and in the procedure of an abortion. This request was denied by the State Supreme Court.
Kara Richardson, a representative of the attorney general’s office said that they are pleased with the court’s action today, however, they are unable to provide further comment due to the pending appeal.
Almost all abortion providers in the state stopped abortion services to females who were detected with fetal cardiac activity.
Amy Kennedy, the vice president of the external affairs of Planned Parenthood Southeast commented that the state’s abortion providers are being forced to turn away patients who then must leave the state for safe, time-sensitive, and essential health care.
In a poll from the School of Public and International Affairs Survey Research Center at the University of Georgia, it comes to light that most of the respondents opposed or strongly opposed the 6 week abortion ban. This was quoted by Charles Bullock, a specialist professor in Southern and Legislative politics.