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Georgia Supreme Court protects babies after six weeks

Georgia protestors in June. Associated Press/Photo by Ben Gray

Georgia Supreme Court protects babies after six weeks

The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated protections for unborn babies after six weeks of pregnancy. It is still considering whether the state’s heartbeat law is constitutional. Georgia passed a law in 2019 protecting babies after six weeks when the first cardiac activity can be detected in a baby. A lower court on Nov. 15 overturned that law and immediately allowed abortions after six weeks to restart. The state attorney general appealed that ruling and asked for it to be put on hold while the appeal moved forward. Seven of the nine justices agreed with the opinion that put the lower court’s ruling on hold, while one justice was disqualified and one did not participate, the court said. 

What was the lower court’s reasoning? Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled that the law was invalid because it was passed under precedent established by Roe v. Wade—a Supreme Court case that allowed abortion well past six weeks. He said the state would have to pass the law again to enact it. The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia had brought the case in July. 

Dig deeper: Read Lillian Hamman’s report in Vitals on Georgia’s battle over the heartbeat law.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.


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