A hearing is underway in an Atlanta court to determine whether Georgia can continue to ban abortions starting at six weeks of pregnancy. ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia’s ban on abortions starting at six weeks of pregnancy is causing problems for women who are denied the procedure and confusion for doctors, abortion providers said Monday. to enforce it. Restriction Carrie Cwiak, a plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking to strike down the law, said women who learned they were past the time abortion was allowed under state law thought aloud: What is he going to do now?
“It’s concerning,” said Cwiak, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Emory University School of Medicine. “It’s emotional.”
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney has scheduled two days of testimony in the case, which argues the ban violates the Georgia Constitution’s right to privacy and liberty “for countless Georgians. By forcing pregnancy and childbirth”. He will then issue an order, although on Monday he said it would not be until after November 8.
Georgia law prohibits most abortions when there is a “detectable human heartbeat.” Cardiac activity can be detected by ultrasound in cells within an embryo that will eventually develop into a heart as early as six weeks gestation. This means that most abortions in Georgia are effectively banned before many women know they are pregnant.
The law includes exceptions for rape and adultery, as long as a police report is filed, and allows subsequent abortions when the mother’s life is in danger or a serious medical condition makes the fetus nonviable. However, the law does not provide clear guidance on when doctors can intervene, Cwiak said. She said that the potential punishment for bad deeds is also chilling.
“The fact that the bill will result in criminal prosecution if it has a different interpretation than the legal interpretation, that is very concerning to doctors,” she said.
When questioned by Christopher Bartolommocki, an attorney representing the state, Cwiak acknowledged that she did not know of any doctors who had been prosecuted for performing emergency medical abortions. Bartolomucci, in an attempt to discredit Cwiak, also brought up her earlier tweets, in which he criticized conservative US Supreme Court justices in Roe v. Wade was criticized for using an explanation in the wake of the decision to terminate. In a court filing, the state attorney general’s office said that Georgia’s privacy protections do not extend to abortion because it affects other “human life.”
“There is a third party involved,” Georgia Attorney General Stephen Petrani told McBurney.
McBurney rejects this argument by presenting a hypothetical example of a girl who is raped by her stepfather and becomes pregnant but is too scared to report the crime. He said that he did not believe that the girl’s right to privacy would be completely lost. But he also asked an attorney for the plaintiffs to address the state legislature’s desire to treat embryos as people. She said that I am currently struggling. The judge heard from two other plaintiffs’ experts, including Whitney Rice, a public health researcher at Emory University, who testified that she expects Georgia’s abortion ban to disproportionately harm black women. The trial will continue on Tuesday.
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The doctors and advocacy groups that filed the lawsuit in July also argue that the law was wrong because it violated the US Constitution and US Supreme Court precedent when it was enacted. The Georgia law was passed by state lawmakers and signed into law by Republican Governor Brian Kemp in 2019, but was unable to take effect until the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, who protected abortion rights for nearly 50 years. The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Georgia to implement the abortion law just three weeks after the high court ruling in June.
The state has argued that the Roe decision itself was wrong and that the Supreme Court ruling struck it down. In August, McBurney denied a request by the plaintiffs to immediately block the abortion law while the case was pending, though he stressed that the ruling did not touch the bottom of the case. Earlier this month, he rejected a request from state officials to postpone the trial.