Women's Issues

Federal Judge Blocks Georgia's 'Heartbeat' Abortion Ban

The judge said the law violated the constitutional right to privacy and inflicted irreparable harm.

Federal Judge Blocks Georgia's 'Heartbeat' Abortion Ban
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A federal judge blocked one of the strictest abortion bans in the country from going into effect. 

It's Georgia's so-called "heartbeat" abortion bill, which bans the procedure as early as 6 weeks. 

Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill into law in May. It was set to go into effect in January of 2020.

But according to the judge's opinion, banning pre-viability abortion violates the constitutional right to privacy. He cited Roe v. Wade as precedent, which legalized pre-viability abortion nationwide. The judge also wrote the law inflicts irreparable harm. 

With the "heartbeat" abortion ban temporarily blocked, the state's original abortion laws will remain in effect. Currently, the state bans abortions at 20 weeks or more from the time of fertilization.   

The governor's communications director said the office is reviewing the decision and is confident in its position. Meanwhile, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast called the decision "a victory for the people of Georgia and the entire nation."