An almost all-out ban on abortions has been allowed to go into effect after an appeals court overturned a pause on the ban that went into effect in 2019.
The decision comes after the United States Supreme Court handed down a ruling on Dobbs v Jackson that overturned Roe v Wade. After the ruling last month, several states enacted “trigger laws” that banned or restricted abortion as soon as the SCOTUS ruling came down.
The Georgia law, which bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically at about 6 weeks, was allowed to go into effect after a US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled on Wednesday that the strike-down of Roe meant there was no Constitutional right to abortion, and therefore the state of Georgia was within its rights to ban it.
Most pregnancies are not detectable until about six weeks along, making the Georgia abortion ban effectively a full ban on abortions in the state. Georgia Republican Attorney General Chris Carr said he would enact the law immediately after the appeals court ruling on Wednesday.
Abortion rights groups have loudly criticized Georgia’s so-called “Heartbeat Bill,” saying it is a gross violation of bodily autonomy. “This is a grave human rights violation, and Planned Parenthood, along with its partners, will do everything in our power to fight back and ensure all people can get the health care they need, regardless of where they live,” said Alexis McGill Johnson, Planned Parenthood president.
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