A few weeks after the US Supreme Court’s controversial abortion decision, a federal court ruled that the state of Georgia may in future have strict rules on abortion. The federal appeals court ruled on Wednesday that the so-called heartbeat law could go into effect immediately.
Accordingly, women in the state are no longer allowed to terminate their pregnancy as soon as the heartbeat of the fetus has been determined. This can happen as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. The Georgia law had been in court for several years.
The judges said the Supreme Court’s decision paved the way for the law’s passage: The Supreme Court’s ruling made it clear that the Constitution does not provide a right to abortion — so Georgia can ban it, Wednesday’s ruling said.
Georgia law provides exceptions for cases of rape and incest that are reported to the police. Subsequent abortions are also permitted if the mother’s life is in danger or the fetus is not viable.
At the end of June, the Supreme Court overturned the almost 50-year right to an abortion, arguing that it was not enshrined in the constitution. Because there is no statewide law protecting the right to abortion, legislation now rests with the states.