Supreme Stand: Georgia’s Controversial Abortion Ban Verdict…

Supreme Stand: Georgia's Controversial Abortion Ban Verdict

The restriction on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy was reaffirmed in a verdict issued by the Georgia Supreme Court on Tuesday morning.

Since the LIFE Act was passed before the US Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision a year ago, which eliminated the federal right to an abortion under Roe v. Wade, this ruling overturns the finding of a lower court to invalidate specific portions of the LIFE Act.

The LIFE Act of Georgia prohibits, with few exceptions, abortion after the detection of early heart activity, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before most women are even aware that they are pregnant.

To paraphrase a piece of the ruling issued on Tuesday: “the trial court erred in relying on overruled decisions of the United States Supreme Court to find that portions of the LIFE Act violated the United States Constitution when adopted in 2019. Georgia courts must now defer to the United States Supreme Court’s controlling interpretation of the United States Constitution when deciding whether a statute legislation violates that Constitution, even if the same Constitution that was in effect when the LIFE Act was passed remains in effect today.

“We are pleased with the court’s decision and will continue to defend the constitutionality of Georgia’s LIFE Act,” stated Georgia’s Attorney General Chris Carr.

Executive Director of SisterSong Women of Colour Reproductive Justice Collective and plaintiff in the case Monica Simpson said, “Today’s devastating decision means that our people will continue to face the horrible reality that they are in today where Georgians are suffering because they cannot access abortion care.” Because of this law, Georgia women seeking abortions must either pay to travel to neighbouring states or suffer through an unwanted pregnancy and delivery.

Abortion Survivors Network of Georgia advocate Lauren Eden exclaimed to AWN, “I am thrilled. Many other people’s lives, including mine, will be spared as a result. The lives of the mothers, who we know experience so much pain following an abortion operation, will also be safeguarded by this.

Members of the Georgia House of Representatives Democratic caucus issued a statement condemning the ruling, saying, “This harmful decision leaves in place a deadly restriction on reproductive rights and criminalises doctors who are seeking to provide life saving healthcare to patients across the state.”

A second challenge by plaintiffs argued that the restriction “violates the due-process, equal-protection, and/or inherent-rights provisions of the Georgia Constitution,” but the Georgia State Supreme Court declined to rule on the matter and sent the issue back to the lower court for further consideration.

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