A federal judge on Monday reversed Georgia’s anti-abortion law passed by the General Assembly last year, calling it unconstitutional.
District Judge Steve C. Jones wrote in his ruling that the law, which would have prohibited most abortions once a doctor can detect fetal heart activity, or approximately six weeks after pregnancy, violated a woman’s constitutional law. to access the procedure as established by the 1973 Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade.
“It is in the public interest, and it is the duty of this court, to ensure that constitutional rights are protected,” Jones wrote.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia sued the state on behalf of abortion advocates and providers. He argued that the law that Governor Brian Kemp signed last year, known as House Bill 481, was unconstitutional.
Jones agreed and wrote that “a woman’s constitutional freedom to have some freedom to terminate her pregnancy” is inhibited by law.
As a result of his ruling, Jones wrote: “The Georgia state abortion laws that were in effect prior to the approval of HB 481 remain in effect.”
Under current Georgia law, passed by the Legislature in 2012, abortions are allowed up to 20 weeks gestation, or around 22 weeks pregnant.
Monica Simpson, executive director of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, the lead plaintiff in the case, praised Jones’ decision.
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Staff writer Greg Bluestein contributed to this article.