Judge overturns Georgia’s ban on abortion after 6 weeks
ATLANTA (AP) — A judge overturned Georgia’s ban on abortion starting around six weeks into a pregnancy, ruling Tuesday that it violated the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court precedent when it was enacted.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney’s ruling applies statewide. The ban had been in effect since July.
It prohibited most abortions once a “detectable human heartbeat” is present. Cardiac activity can be detected by ultrasound in cells within an embryo that will eventually become the heart as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. That means most abortions in Georgia were effectively banned at a point before many women knew they were pregnant.
McBurney’s ruling came in a lawsuit that sought to strike down the ban on multiple grounds, including that it violates the Georgia Constitution’s right to privacy and liberty by forcing pregnancy and childbirth on women in the state. The lawsuit filed by doctors and advocacy groups in July also argued that Georgia’s abortion ban was invalid because it violated the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court precedent when it was enacted.
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