Georgia’s 6-week abortion ban facing another court challenge

A two-day trial has begun in Fulton County Superior Court
Published: Oct. 23, 2022 at 8:25 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 24, 2022 at 2:46 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Fulton County Superior Court is hearing yet another challenge to Georgia’s six-week abortion ban.

The court began hearing oral arguments Monday in the scheduled two-day trial, featuring live testimony from experts and witnesses on the state’s so-called “Heartbeat Bill,” which bans most abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which typically happens at about the sixth week of pregnancy weeks.


WATCH LIVE: Judge hears arguments in Georgia's heartbeat abortion law trial

WATCH LIVE: Judge hears testimony in Georgia's heartbeat abortion law trial

Posted by Atlanta News First on Monday, October 24, 2022

The bench trial was scheduled in response to a lawsuit filed by Georgia abortion providers and advocates challenging the law which took effect in July. The state court challenge argues the Georgia Constitution’s protection for the fundamental right to privacy prohibits political interference with an individual’s decision whether to continue or terminate a pregnancy.

Opponents of the law also argue Georgia’s ban was void from the start under the Georgia Constitution because, they say, it violated federal constitutional precedent when enacted in 2019.

Doctors and advocates are asking the state court to permanently block the law. Judge Robert McBurney will preside over the proceedings.

Attorneys for the state have argued that the law is constitutional and that privacy protections do not extend to abortion because it affects another “human life.”

Earlier this year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mississippi’s abortion law that bans the procedure after 15 weeks. The court’s ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization essentially states there is no constitutional right to abortion services, and thus allows individual states to more heavily regulate or ban the procedure. The ruling essentially overturned Roe v. Wade, the court’s landmark 1973 ruling which ruled a pregnant woman has the right to choose to an abortion without excessive government restriction.