Georgia’s six-week abortion ban is no longer in effect after a Fulton County judge ruled Tuesday it was “plainly unconstitutional” when passed in 2019, which was before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert C. I. McBurney’s order also strikes down a provision requiring physicians to report to the state Department of Public Health when an abortion qualified under the state’s narrow exceptions, such as in the case of rape if a police report has been filed.
“Those provisions exist on paper only; they have never had legal effect in Georgia. They were and are void and must be re-enacted in our post-Roe world if they are to become the law of Georgia,” McBurney wrote in his opinion.
McBurney did not weigh in on whether Georgia’s constitution would allow the abortion restrictions in the 2019 law.
“Whether Georgia’s Constitution countenances a post-heartbeat ban (with certain exceptions for medical emergencies, rape, etc.) is not being decided here because that is not (yet) the law in Georgia,” he wrote.
The ruling is likely to be appealed.
Health care providers and abortion rights advocates, who are represented by the ACLU, filed the legal challenge shortly after Georgia’s law took effect in July.
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