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Ga. Supreme Court Reestablishes Abortion Ban

'If it seems odd that the Superior Court would nevertheless rely on the overruled Roe decision to invalidate the LIFE Act, that is because it is... '

(The Center Square) — Georgia’s six-week abortion ban will take effect while an appeal proceeds, the Georgia Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday.

The move stayed a lower court’s ruling.

“We are pleased with the court’s action today. However, we are unable to provide further comment due to the pending appeal,” Kara Richardson, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Chris Carr told The Center Square.

Last week, a Fulton County judge ruled the state could not enforce an abortion ban lawmakers passed before the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade.

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Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled that two sections of House Bill 481, the Living Infants Fairness Equality Act, which Georgia lawmakers passed in 2019, “were plainly unconstitutional when drafted, voted upon, and enacted.” As a result, they “must be reenacted in our post-Roe world if they are to become the law of Georgia,” the judge wrote.

The state immediately appealed the decision.

“If it seems odd that the Superior Court would nevertheless rely on the overruled Roe decision to invalidate the LIFE Act, that is because it is,” the state said in its motion. “No other court has ever held that an overruled judicial opinion can, like a zombie rising from the grave, invalidate otherwise perfectly valid laws.”

Before the state case, a federal judge initially blocked the law, commonly called the “Heartbeat Bill,” because the U.S. Supreme Court had previously upheld the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade as part of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a federal appeals judge ruled the Georgia law could take effect, prompting a pro-abortion coalition to file a lawsuit in Fulton County.

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“Appropriate reproductive health care had restarted in this state and it will be traumatic for Georgia’s women and couples to again lose their right to make personal, private decisions about their lives,” Andrea Young, executive director of the ACLU of Georgia, said in a statement. “It also now becomes even more important that we protect access in other states by preventing the U.S. Senate from passing a federal ban on abortion.”

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