NRL News

Georgia’s AG appealing ruling against portions of state’s Heartbeat law; new legislation put on hold until Georgia’s Supreme Court acts

by | Nov 18, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

The office of Georgia’s pro-life Attorney General Chris Carr is appealing Judge Robert McBurney’s November 15th ruling which overturned portions of the state’s Heartbeat Bill dealing with abortion restrictions. The Georgia LIFE Act would protect unborn children from abortion once an unborn child’s heartbeat can be detected.

Judge McBurney said “those portions of the law never actually became law because they were unconstitutional at the time they were signed into law – before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade,” according to the Georgia Life Alliance, NRLC’s state affiliate. “As such, he ruled that Georgia cannot enforce those sections of the law. Abortions will now temporarily be legal in Georgia until 22 weeks.”

“Obviously, the state’s legal team has strong grounds for appealing this illogical ruling,” state Senate Majority Leader Steve Gooch told Maya T. Prabhu of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “The Legislature acted to protect the unborn on behalf of the people of Georgia, and we are confident that the unfortunate situation created by a lone judge’s opinion will be temporary and quickly resolved within the judiciary.”

State Rep. Ed Setzler sponsored the 2019 legislation. “He called McBurney’s ruling reversing the federal court of appeals’ July decision ‘nonsense.’”

Seltzer told Prabhu, “It’s no surprise that a liberal Fulton County judge put a temporary roadblock into the implementation of the (pro-life law).” He added, “It won’t take long for the state Supreme Court to rule in favor of the (law) and put it into full effect.”

Kaleb McMichen, “who was a spokesman for the late House Speaker David Ralston, said the House Republican Caucus also stands behind the attorney general’s decision to appeal,” Prabhu reported,
 “Any of the House caucus’ 101 members could decide to file legislation restricting abortion, but McMichen said he is unaware of anyone having plans to do so.”

He said, “We’re going to let the legal process continue to work, and if there needs to be a change in our approach at some point, we can address that.”

Prabhu quoted Elizabeth Edmonds, Leadership Director for Georgia Life Alliance, as saying “she doesn’t expect lawmakers to file similar legislation next year.”

“Until we get a decision from the Georgia Supreme Court, coming back and trying to pass another abortion restriction — I don’t think anybody’s going to do that because it would create more confusion,” she said.

The U.S. Supreme Court’s June 24th decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning  Roe v. Wade paved the way for Georgia’s law to take effect. “A ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in July allowed Georgia’s 2019 abortion law to be enforced,” Prabhu said.

Categories: State Legislation