The supreme court of Georgia has upheld the state’s ban on abortion after six-weeks of pregnancy.
Georgia had passed the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (Life) Act in 2019 that bans abortion, with some exceptions, when early heartbeat is detected.
It took effect after the US Supreme Court overturned the federal right to an abortion under Roe v Wade in 2022.
A group of abortion rights supporters challenged the law, and called for its repeal.
The court ruled that the six-week abortion ban law will remain valid while litigation over it continues.
“The trial court erred in relying on overruled decisions of the United States Supreme Court to conclude that portions of the LIFE Act violated the United States Constitution when enacted in 2019,” the Georgia supreme court said in its majority opinion, which was written by Justice Verda M Colvin. “The same United States Constitution governs today as when the LIFE Act was enacted, and Georgia courts are required to look to the United States Supreme Court’s now-controlling interpretation of the United States Constitution when determining whether a statutory law violates that Constitution,” it added.
The six-week ban had limited pregnant women’s access to abortion in Georgia, and threatened physicians with jail time for providing care.
It forced hundreds of women to travel to other states for medical care they desperately needed to preserve their health, and led to complications that make it more difficult to have children in the future.
The ruling is seen as a boost to Republican lawmakers who are calling for a national abortion ban that would criminalize reproductive health care in every state.
In a statement on Georgia Supreme Court decision upholding abortion ban, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, we’ve seen the dangerous impact bans like this have had on women across the country.”
She vowed that President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris won’t stop fighting until the protections of Roe v. Wade are restored in federal law.
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