Georgia’s Abortion Ban Temporarily Blocked By Federal Judge; Stops ‘Heartbeat Bill’ From Becoming Law

Abortion rights advocates rally in front of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta to protest new restrictions on abortions that have been passed in Georgia, May 21, 2019. - Demonstrations were planned across the US on Tuesday in defense of abortion rights, which activists see as increasingly under attack. The "Day of Action" rallies come after the state of Alabama passed the country's most restrictive abortion ban, prohibiting the procedure in all cases, even rape and incest, unless the mother's life is at risk. Alabama is among about 14 states which have adopted laws banning or drastically restricting access to abortion, according to activists. (Photo by Tami Chappell / AFP)        (Photo credit should read TAMI CHAPPELL/AFP/Getty Images)

Georgia’s Abortion Ban Temporarily Blocked By Federal Judge; Stops ‘Heartbeat Bill’ From Becoming Law

The bill was set to become law on January 1, 2020.

Published October 2nd

Written by Zayda Rivera

The “Heartbeat Bill” won’t become law in Georgia just yet. 

A federal judge temporarily blocked the bill, which was scheduled to become law on January 1, 2020, and would have banned abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected in the womb, USA Today reports. 

“[This is] a victory for the people of Georgia and the entire nation,” Staci Fox, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood Southeast, said in a statement, according to USA Today.

The fetal heartbeat is typically detected by the sixth week of pregnancy before many women even know they’re expecting.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed the bill in May.

The heartbeat bill has exceptions for cases that involve rape or incest when the woman files a police report. It also allows for abortions when a fetus is determined not to be viable or the mother’s health is in jeopardy, USA Today reports.

“To the countless Georgians who spoke out against this ban and were ignored we promised to keep fighting every step of the way and we have,” Fox said in the statement.

“To our partners, we promised we were in this together and we are,” she added. “To Governor Kemp, we promised to see you in court, and we did. But most importantly, to our patients, we promised to protect access to safe, legal abortion and together we have.” 

Emily Nestler, senior staff attorney at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement Tuesday (October 1), “The court recognized today that this law is blatantly unconstitutional and a clear attempt to overturn Roe v. Wade. Instead of passing laws that restrict the rights of pregnant women, Georgia lawmakers should be implementing policies that help pregnant women.”

The Governor’s office also commented on the court ruling.

“Despite today’s outcome, we remain confident in our position,” Candice Broce, a spokeswoman for Kemp, said Tuesday (October 1), USA Today reports. “We will continue to fight for the unborn and work to ensure that all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, and prosper.” 

When the heartbeat bill was first announced earlier this year, Tiffany Haddish responded by canceling an appearance in Atlanta

“After much deliberation, I am postponing my upcoming show in Atlanta,” she wrote in a statement ahead of her scheduled appearance on June 22 at Fox Theatre. “I love the state of Georgia, but I need to stand with women and until they withdraw Measure HB481, I cannot in good faith perform there.” 

(Photo: TAMI CHAPPELL/AFP/Getty Images)

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