Breaking News: Georgia Court Overturns State Abortion Law | Akerman LLP – Health Law Rx

On June 24, 2022, the United States Supreme Court issued its seminal decision on abortion. Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Orgrolling over Roe v. Wade and the right to terminate a pregnancy before viability Roy Apparently it was coded. The Supreme Court’s decision fundamentally changed the constitutional landscape of a woman’s right to make reproductive health choices and created ambiguity about the scope and breadth of the right to privacy in the United States.

those Dobbs This decision had surprisingly ‘down to earth’ consequences. previous DobbsThirteen states had imposed “trigger laws” upon issuance Dobbs The decision immediately imposed restrictions on abortion. under Roy, these restrictions would arguably be unconstitutional. Although not immediately triggered afterwards Dobbs Due to legal action at the time, Georgia’s abortion law, known as the Living Infant Fairness and Equality (“LIFE”) Act, was passed in 2019 and went into effect in July 2022. The law prohibited abortions after the detection of cardiac activity in the fetus (usually when the pregnancy is nearly six weeks) and is widely considered among the most restrictive anti-choice statutes in the United States.

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On Tuesday, November 15, 2022, the Superior Court of Fulton County (J. McBurney, presiding) found that the LIFE Act violated the Georgia Constitution. in the Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective v. State of Georgia (“Sistersong”)., the plaintiffs consisted of a coalition of Georgia obstetricians and gynecologists (and its members), reproductive health centers, and membership groups that describe themselves as committed to reproductive freedom and justice. Plaintiffs argued that the Life Act was invalid The beginning of abor because it had no legal effect from the beginning, when the LIFE Act was enacted Roy The Life Act prohibits access to abortion. Plaintiffs therefore asserted that the LIFE Act violated Georgia’s constitutional right to liberty, privacy, and/or equal protection.

Ultimately, the Supreme Court found two sections of the LIFE Act invalid. The first provision (OCGA § 16-12-141(b)) prohibited an abortion after a fetus had a detectable heartbeat. The second provision (OCGA § 31-9B-3(a)) mandated physician reporting of abortion procedures to the Department of Public Health with clear indication of the statutory exception (e.g, medical emergency, etc.) to prohibit imminent abortion. The Supreme Court Justice ruled that the Georgia Constitution declares empty Any law passed by the Georgia legislature, at the time of its enactment, violates the United States Constitution. When the Georgia General Assembly enacted the LIFE Act in 2019, it was unconstitutional to, among other things, mandate reporting requirements of the kind set forth in the LIFE Act on states or local governments to ban pre-viability abortions. Therefore, according to the Supreme Court, the LIFE Act “did not become the law of Georgia when it was enacted and is not the law of Georgia now.” According to the procedure, the state of Georgia has appealed the decision of the Supreme Court. That appeal is pending.

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Should the Georgia Supreme Court revive the Life Act or after the Georgia Legislature enacts similar legislation—Dobbs, legal strategies that plaintiffs in this particular case may well cross state lines. Although the decision was issued in accordance with Georgia law, it relied on logic sister and credited by the Supreme Court are inherently based on common law principles. The Supreme Court relied on a decision of the United States Supreme Court in 1886 in which the relevant section said “[a]n Unconstitutional act is not a law… It is inoperative even if it has never been passed. Norton v. Shelby County, 118 US 425, 442 (1886). Unless the Supreme Court reconsiders the more than a century-old decision, its reasoning could be used to challenge induction laws across the United States. sister as valuable and adaptable tools to be used ex-post by other litigants (and other courts) in other states.Dobbs The legal landscape continues to be defined.

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