Abortion rights advocates ask court to halt Georgia abortion ban

Abortion rights advocates ask court to halt Georgia abortion ban
© Getty Images

Abortion rights advocates are asking a judge to temporarily halt Georgia's six-week ban on the procedure, arguing that their lawsuit against the ban should be decided before the law goes into effect.

Attorneys for several abortion providers on Tuesday filed a request for a preliminary injunction to block the law from going into effect Jan. 1.

The lawyers, who are from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in court that if the law goes into effect, it will "inflict significant and irreparable harm" on abortion providers and their patients.

ADVERTISEMENT

A spokesperson for Georgia's attorney general declined to comment on the development, saying in a statement that the office is "unable to comment on pending litigation."

Center for Reproductive Rights attorney Emily Nestler told The Hill that the law's impact would be "extreme," but said she believes advocates will win both the injunction and the case. 

"There have been obviously a number of these abortion bans...and every single one of them that has been challenged has been stopped by the court," she said. "That's not surprising because they're clearly unconstitutional."

The attorneys filed the lawsuit last month. An ACLU attorney called Georgia's law "blatantly unconstitutional" at the time. 

The law in question, passed earlier this year, bans abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected and has exceptions for rape, incest and when the mother's life is in danger. 

It is one of several laws aimed at restricting abortions passed recently by GOP-led state legislatures

Federal judges this year blocked a similar ban in Mississippi.

Those who oppose six-week bans say that many women do not know they are pregnant at that point. 

Updated: 3:11 p.m.