An abortion law, passed by the General Assembly earlier this year, and was scheduled to take effect from the New Year, has been provisionally suspended, after Fulton County Superior Court Judge Doris Downs temporarily blocked it.
The law would have prohibited doctors from performing abortions 20 weeks after an egg is fertilized, unless they believed that the fetus had some medical deficiency that would make it difficult to survive or could pose a threat to the life of the mother or have other serious health implications, not including mental, for her.
Downs blocked the law as it was contested by the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, who filed a lawsuit on behalf of three obstetricians calling the law unconstitutional. The ACLU said that the law infringed on the state’s privacy protections that they were entitled to by the state’s constitution.
Debbie Seagraves, executive director of Georgia ACLU said that they decided to put up a state challenge because its constitution provides them with some very enduring safeguards of privacy.
Georgia’s existing laws allow women to seek an abortion, for whatsoever reason during the first 24 weeks of pregnancy. After that it will be left to the discretion of the doctor, who can perform an abortion only if he or she feels that it is imperative to protect the life or health of the mother and is deemed “medically futile.”