Abortion rights activists had a lot to celebrate on Tuesday after a federal judge temporarily blocked Georgia’s restrictive abortion ban from taking effect.
According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the incident started when Georgia’s American Civil Liberties Union sued the state, arguing that the law was unconstitutional under the famous Roe v. Wade ruling.
Georgia’s law would have banned most abortions once a fetal heartbeat was able to be detected, which can happen as early as six weeks before an individual knows that they are pregnant.
Judge Jones said that the U.S. Supreme Court has “repeatedly and unequivocally” stood by Roe v. Wade, AJC notes.
“What is clearly defined, however, is that 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 decided. “By banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, HB 481 prohibits women from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy at a point before viability.”
As such, the bill will remain on ice, as activists fight the case, hoping that it will ultimately end up before the Supreme Court.
The ACLU celebrated Jones’ decision.
“The federal district court today fulfilled its oath to uphold and defend the Constitution,” ACLU Georgia Legal Director Sean Young told AJC. “This abortion ban has been unconstitutional from start to finish, and today is a victory for the dignity of women throughout Georgia.”