A judge may soon decide the temporary fate of Georgia’s new abortion law
The United States Supreme Court’s June decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization reversed Roe v. Wade, nearly 50 years old, which guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion and paved the way for the Georgian law to come into effect.
Lawyers for the American Civil Liberties Union, representing abortion rights advocates and providers, said the new law was enacted illegally. Lawyers argued that when the law was passed in 2019, Roe v. Wade was the law of the land and that law did not allow the Legislative Assembly to enact laws that broke the law.
“From the moment the legislature enacted this law, it was void,” said Julia Kaye, an attorney for the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “The Legislature is free to recreate it, but Dobbs does not automatically bring this law back to life as a zombie.”
McBurney asked Solicitor General Stephen Petrany, representing the state, why state lawmakers should be able to “pass whatever law we want because, damn it, we’re the Legislative Assembly,” even if that contradicts existing law.
“What you’re describing sounds like democracy,” Petrany said. Elected officials “can continue to test justice,” she added.
Georgia’s new law is different from other states’ “heartbeat” laws because it includes personality provisions, expanding rights to an embryo once fetal heart activity can be detected. Parents could claim a fetus, once a heartbeat is detected, on their income taxes as a dependent, and the measure would also require state officials to count an unborn child in the household. Georgian population. Mothers can also file for child support once cardiac activity is detected.