Justices reinstate Georgia's heartbeat law banning abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy


ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court Wednesday reinstated the state’s heartbeak law, which bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy.

In a one-page order, the high court put a lower court ruling overturning the ban on hold while it considers an appeal. Abortion providers who had resumed performing abortions past six weeks  will again have to stop.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled on November 15 that the state's abortion ban was invalid because when it was signed into law in 2019, U.S. Supreme Court precedent under Roe. v. Wade and another ruling allowed abortion well past six weeks.

“I am so deeply thankful to our Georgia Supreme Court for recognizing that McBurney’s decision was not based on what’s constitutionally sound,” said Suzanne Guy, a Georgia pro-life leader and a member of First Baptist Church in Woodstock. “This is an incredible moment for our most vulnerable citizens, those babies in the womb.”

McBurney's decision had immediately prohibited enforcement of the heartbeat law statewide. Abortion providers had resumed performing the procedure past six weeks, though some said they were proceeding cautiously over concerns the ban could be quickly reinstated.

The state attorney general’s office appealed the ruling to the state Supreme Court. It also asked the high court for an order putting the decision on hold while the appeal was pending.

Georgia’s ban took effect in July, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. It prohibited most abortions once a “detectable human heartbeat” was present.


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