Abortions will no longer be banned in Georgia in six weeks, a state district judge announced Tuesday.
Fulton County Circuit Judge Robert McBurney said sections of the 2019 Live Babies Fairness and Equality Act were unconstitutional when drafted and passed, so there was “no legal basis” for the ban, which bans abortions after six weeks.
The judge said the law must be viewed through the lens of what the constitution protected at the time the law was passed in 2019. “At that time — the spring of 2019 — everywhere in America, including Georgia, it was unequivocally unconstitutional to governments—federal, state, or local—to ban pre-viability abortions,” Justice McBurney wrote.
That was before the U.S. Supreme Court left it up to the states to decide whether abortion was legal in Dobbs answer.
In writing the decision, the judge sent the message that “Most fundamentally, this means that courts — not legislatures — make the law,” he wrote, again basing the decision on constitutional protections at the time the bill was passed.
advocacy group, The SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective filed the lawsuit in July following the Supreme Court ruling.
“After a long journey, we can finally celebrate the end of our state’s final abortion ban,” Monica Simpson, executive director of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, the lead plaintiff in the case, said in a statement to the American Civil Liberties Union.
Other advocates said the decision would hit low-income people especially hard. “Today’s ruling is a sigh of relief for Georgians who have suffered the harsh consequences of Governor Kemp’s ban on abortion from the earliest weeks of pregnancy, which has caused particular harm among black and low-income communities,” said Julia Kay, staff attorney. with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project.
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