Atlanta, Ga., Oct 2, 2019 / 08:30 am
A federal judge on Tuesday halted Georgia's "heartbeat bill" abortion ban from going into effect.
Judge Steve Jones of the Northern District Court of Georgia wrote in his ruling October 1 that "in light of binding precedent," the plaintiffs met the requirements for an injunction on the state's abortion law to be granted.
The Georgia state legislature in March had passed the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act (H.B. 481), banning abortions after the detection of a baby's heartbeat, which usually occurs between six to eight weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions were made for cases of rape, a threat to the life of the mother, or if the baby is "diagnosed as medically futile."
The law, signed by Governor Brian Kemp (R), requires doctors to check for a fetal heartbeat before performing an abortion. It also recognizes unborn children as "natural persons" and grants "dependent minor" tax status of "an unborn child at any stage of development who is carried in the womb."