Georgia Supreme Court Reinstates Abortion Ban After Six Weeks of Pregnancy
In this photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a woman holds the first-trimester fetus after having a medical abortion at the Planned Parenthood organization’s clinic in Silver Spring, Md., Monday, April 14, 2012. The new Georgia law, signed by Gov. Nathan Deal, requires abortion clinics to meet waiting period requirements before performing abortions after the first trimester.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — In a second court challenge to Georgia’s law restricting abortions once a woman’s heart has begun to beat, a judge on Thursday ordered the state to take up the case again next month, at least temporarily.
The Georgia law, signed earlier this month, requires abortion clinics to meet waiting period requirements before performing abortions after the first trimester, which typically involves performing an aspiration procedure, in which the abortionist makes an incision to retrieve the fetus’s contents, before they are considered legal.
A panel of three judges ruled for the first time Thursday that a pregnant woman has a constitutionally protected right to an abortion at any point after the fetus’s heart has begun to beat.
In a brief order, Judge Timothy Brooks of Atlanta said he would hold a new hearing this month. After that, he could rule on the preliminary injunction.
The ruling was issued under a law that has been blocked in appeals court for two years because the justices determined the law was unconstitutional.
The appellate rulings came on the heels of another recent ruling that an abortion law in Texas violated the state’s constitution, because it bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The ruling from Georgia had the potential of extending an abortion rights case that was in the works for decades and was likely to go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a similar Texas law with a 5-4 vote that said the