Federal Judge Blocks Georgia’s Anti-Abortion Heartbeat Bill

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signs legislation in May banning abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. (Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP)

A federal judge in Georgia ruled Tuesday to block the state’s so-called “heartbeat” abortion law from taking effect.

District Judge Steve Jones ruled to prevent House Bill 481 from taking effect Jan. 1, 2020, to allow legal challenges against the law to resolve, stating that the U.S. Supreme Court has “repeatedly and unequivocally” held that a state may not ban abortion prior to viability, which is established as between 24 weeks and 26 weeks of pregnancy in Roe vs. Wade.

“Under no circumstances whatsoever may a state prohibit or ban abortions at any point prior to viability, no matter what interests the state asserts to support it,” Jones wrote.

The law, which was signed by Gov. Brian Kemp in May, made it so that abortions could not be performed after a fetal heartbeat can be heard, barring abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.

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SOURCE: UPI, Daniel Uria