San Francisco Chronicle
Georgia restores abortion ban law
ATLANTA — The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday reinstated the state's ban on abortions after roughly six weeks of pregnancy, abruptly ending access to later abortions that had resumed days earlier.
In a one-page order, the justices put a lower court ruling overturning the ban on hold while they consider an appeal. Doctors who had resumed providing abortions the past six weeks had to immediately stop.
Abortion advocates blasted the order, saying it will traumatize women who must now arrange travel to other states for an abortion or keep their pregnancies.
“It is outrageous that this extreme law is back in effect, just days after being rightfully blocked,” said Alice Wang, an attorney with the Center for Reproductive Rights that represented abortion providers challenging Georgia's ban. “This legal ping pong is causing chaos for medical providers trying to do their jobs and for patients who are now left frantically searching for the abortion services they need.”
The state attorney general's office in a court filing said “untold numbers of unborn children” would “suffer the permanent consequences” if the state Supreme Court did not issue a stay and halt the Nov. 15 decision by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney.
McBurney ruled the state's abortion ban was invalid because when it was signed into law in 2019, U.S. Supreme Court precedent established by Roe v. Wade and another ruling allowed abortion well past six weeks.
The decision immediately prohibited enforcement of the abortion ban statewide. The state appealed and asked the Georgia Supreme Court to put the decision on hold while the appeal moved forward.
Though abortions past six weeks had resumed, some abortion providers said they were proceeding cautiously over concerns the ban could be quickly reinstated.
Georgia's ban first took effect in July, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.