A federal judge last year threw out a similar law in Georgia that bans most abortions after fetal cardiac activity can be detected. Earlier this year, the Supreme Court said it will consider ruling on a restrictive anti-abortion law out of Mississippi, blocked by lower courts, that would outlaw most abortions once a woman reaches 15 weeks of pregnancy.
Joshua Edmonds, the executive director of the anti-abortion Georgia Life Alliance, said the Supreme Court’s lack of action indicates the “inevitable outcome” of cases in Georgia and Mississippi.
“States are going to be given the right to have a compelling interest to regulate abortion,” Edmonds said. “And the mechanism to do so is going to be through Georgia’s ‘heartbeat bill.’ ”
Staci Fox, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates, called the Supreme Court “irresponsible” for not acting before Texas’ law went into effect.
“We’re in the streets today to remind people about this issue and that abortion is safe and legal and available in the state of Georgia, given how confusing this can be for people who need care,” she said. “It’s a sad day, but today I woke up mad. I’m past sadness. This is why we go to work every day. We’re not backing down from a fight.”
Georgia’s anti-abortion law differs from other states’ attempts to ban the procedure in that it includes what many supporters call “personhood” language, which would extend legal rights to fertilized eggs. The case challenging the law will be heard in a federal appeals court on Sept. 24.