Georgia State Court Maintains 6-Week Abortion Ban
A few weeks ago on the blog, we discussed the abortion providers’ lawsuit seeking to block Georgia’s 6-week abortion ban while their case against it was proceeding. This week, a state court in Fulton, Georgia declined to block the ban, allowing the state to continue criminalizing essential abortion care services. The ban denies abortion two weeks after a person’s first missed period, before many even know they are pregnant.
The decision only denies Georgians immediate emergency relief while the case proceeds, and advocates will continue exploring every option to fight the ban.
This ruling is alarming, firstly because it could set the precedent that Georgia state courts do not need to provide Georgians immediate emergency relief from other unconstitutional state actions, and also because forced pregnancy and childbirth puts Georgians at risk as the state with the highest maternal mortality rate, especially among Black Georgians.
Andrea Young, ACLU of Georgia’s executive director, said:
“The court’s decision today declining to block the abortion ban is extremely disappointing and leaves in place a law that severely compromises the quality of women’s healthcare in the state of Georgia…Ultimately, the power is with Georgia voters to affirm our right to privacy and to make personal, private and intimate decisions without government interference.”
Kwajelyn Jackson, Feminist Women’s Health Center’s executive director, said:
“This is a devastating setback for our community…Our mission for the last nearly 50 years has been to provide our patients with essential, compassionate reproductive health care, including abortion. We will continue to fight for our patients and their right to access all of the health care they need.”
North Carolina Bans Abortions After 20 Weeks
This week, in an unprompted move, a North Carolina federal judge removed an injunction that had been blocking an abortion ban in the state for three years, despite state officials requesting that the ban remain blocked. However, the judge’s removal of the injunction allowed the ban to immmediately take effect, outlawing abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Those who seek abortions later in pregnancy usually do so because they have faced delays in acquiring abortion care earlier, or they come up against dangerous complications with their pregnancy. Other factors include needing time to secure funds, time off work, transportation, and childcare, and other barriers including medically unnecessary, state-mandated restrictions like North Carolina’s 72-hour forced waiting period.
A joint statement from the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic, the ACLU, and the ACLU of North Carolina said:
“Despite the fact that this law has long been rightfully blocked, the court reopened the case in an unprompted move that all parties explicitly opposed…There is already confusion among providers over whether they can provide care, resulting in pregnant people being turned away in emergency situations. North Carolinians will be forced to cross state lines to access life-saving abortion care while others in the region, who could have previously turned to North Carolina as a critical access point, will now have to travel even farther — if they have the means to do so. Forcing people to travel out of state for essential care, or suffer through the pains of forced pregnancy, puts the health of patients at unnecessary risk.”
South Carolina 6-Week Abortion Ban Blocked by State’s Supreme Court
Previously on the blog, we covered the South Carolina lawsuit by abortion providers aiming to block the state’s 6-week abortion ban that came into effect soon after the overturning of Roe v Wade, on June 27th, causing 6 weeks of irreversible harm to South Carolinians.
This week, the South Carolina Supreme Court unanimously decided to grant an injunction on the ban, temporarily blocking it and allowing abortion providers to continue providing services whilst the lawsuit proceeds.
Jenny Black, Planned Parenthood South Atlantic’s President and CEO, said:
“We applaud the court’s decision to protect the people of South Carolina from this cruel law that interferes with a person’s private medical decision. For more than six weeks, patients have been forced to travel hundreds of miles for an abortion or suffer the life-altering consequences of forced pregnancy. Today the court has granted our patients a welcome reprieve, but the fight to restore bodily autonomy to the people of South Carolina is far from over. No matter what happens, we will never stop fighting for our patients’ right to make their own decisions about their bodies and futures.”
Read more here: Washington Post
Spotlight On: Liberate Abortion
This week, we’re bringing you another way to support the fight for the future of abortion in America. If you want to protect abortion access, Liberate Abortion offers many ways to get involved and take action on their website.
The Liberate Abortion Campaign is an effort comprised of more than 150 reproductive justice and rights organizations, groups, and abortion providers working in coalition to fight for abortion that is available, affordable, accessible, and stigma-free for anyone who needs it.
Read more here: Liberate Abortion
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