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Georgia High Court reinstates abortion ban after 6 weeks

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled Nov. 15 that the state’s abortion ban was invalid because, when it was signed into law in 2019, state Supreme Court precedent United under Roe. v. Wade and another ruling allowed abortion well beyond six weeks.

The ruling immediately barred enforcement of the statewide abortion ban. Abortion providers had resumed the procedure for the past six weeks, although some said they were proceeding with caution for fear the ban would soon be reinstated.

The state attorney general’s office appealed the decision to the state Supreme Court. He also asked the High Court for an order suspending the decision while the appeal was pending.

Georgia’s ban went into effect in July, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. It prohibited most abortions once a “detectable human heartbeat” was present.

Cardiac activity can be detected by ultrasound in the cells of an embryo that will eventually become the heart about six weeks into a pregnancy. This means that most abortions in Georgia were effectively banned at some point before many people knew they were pregnant.


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