Reproductive Rights Groups Sue Georgia Over Anti-Abortion Law

The groups are seeking to block the six-week abortion ban from going into effect.

Demonstrators dressed as characters from "The Handmaid's Tale" protest outside Georgia's Capitol, where Gov. Brian Kemp was to sign anti-abortion legislation on May 7.Bob Andres/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP

Lawyers from the ACLU, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit Friday against the state of Georgia to block an anti-abortion law passed earlier this year.

The law bans abortion after the six-week mark, which is often before someone would be aware of a pregnancy, and is scheduled to go into effect on January 1.

Georgia is one of nine states—along with Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Utah, and Arkansas—that have passed strict limits on abortions within the past year.

“None of these laws are in effect, and we are fighting to keep it that way,” said Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup in a statement. “For nearly half a century, the Supreme Court has protected the right to abortion, and we know the majority of Americans continue to support abortion access.”

The lawsuit alleges that Georgia’s ban on abortion after six weeks is unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

“This legislation is blatantly unconstitutional under nearly 50 years of US Supreme Court precedent,” said Sean J. Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia in a statement. “Politicians have no business telling women or a couple when to start or expand a family.

Opponents of the six-week ban also point to the high maternal and infant mortality rates in Georgia to argue that the state should be focused on improving maternal health care rather than limiting abortion access. In 2010, Amnesty International flagged Georgia as the state with the highest maternal mortality rate

“In a state with a critical shortage of medical providers and some of the highest rates of maternal and infant deaths, especially among Black Georgians, politicians should focus on expanding access to reproductive care, not banning abortion before someone even knows they’re pregnant,” said Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project.

MORE HARD-HITTING JOURNALISM

In 2014, before Donald Trump announced his run for president, we knew we had to do something different to address the fundamental challenge facing journalism: how hard-hitting reporting that can hold the powerful accountable can survive as the bottom falls out of the news business.

Being a nonprofit, we started planning The Moment for Mother Jones, a special campaign to raise $25 million for key investments to make Mother Jones the strongest watchdog it can be. Five years later, readers have stepped up and contributed an astonishing $23 million in gifts and future pledges. This is an incredible statement from the Mother Jones community in the face of huge threats—both economic and political—against the free press.

Read more about The Moment and see what we've been able to accomplish thanks to readers' incredible generosity so far, and please join them today. Your gift will be matched dollar for dollar, up to $500,000 total, during this critical moment for journalism.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.