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Thursday, November 17, 2022 – A Fulton County Judge has struck down parts of Georgia’s restrictive ban on all abortions after six weeks, calling the law unconstitutional.
The law, called the “Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act” or “LIFE Act,” was passed in April 2019. It bans all abortions after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, which usually occurs after 6 weeks.
Critics of the “fetal heartbeat bill” point out that many women do not even know they are pregnant until after six weeks.
The LIFE Act could not go into effect when it was passed, as the standing Roe v Wade decision protected the right of women to pre-viability abortions on a federal level.
It was struck down by Judge Robert McBurney, who noted that it was unconstitutional to ban abortions before viability when the law was passed in 2019.
“At that time – the spring of 2019 – everywhere in America, including Georgia, it was unequivocally unconstitutional for governments – federal, state, or local – to ban abortions before viability,” McBurney wrote.
He continued: “And yet the LIFE Act, through Section 4, did just that: a doctor faced with a request to end a pre-viability pregnancy, i.e., at a time when the fetus absolutely could not survive outside the mother’s womb, would be committing a felony if she honored her patient’s wishes.”
McBurney found two sections of the LIFE Act “plainly unconstitutional” and barred their enforcement.
The Georgia Attorney General’s Office plans to appeal the decision immediately.