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Federal judge throws out Georgia's anti-abortion law

Maya T. Prabhu, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on

Published in News & Features

The ACLU argued that the "personhood" components of the law were vague and made it difficult for its clients -- abortion providers -- to know when they are in violation.

The "personhood" language in the law would allow parents, once a fetal heartbeat is detected, to claim an embryo on their taxes as a dependent, and the embryo would be counted toward the state's population. Under the law, a court could also order a father to pay child support after a heartbeat is detected.

The Georgia ruling comes two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 4-3 decision, struck down a Louisiana law that required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals.

Anti-abortion activists had seized upon the opportunity created by last year's appointment of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, tilting the bench in the favor of conservatives.

Last month's decision in the Louisiana case was a blow to anti-abortion activists, but supporters of Georgia's law have said they believe it is the one that will overturn Roe v. Wade.

 

In Georgia, later abortions would still have been allowed in cases of rape, incest, if the life of the woman is in danger or in instances of "medical futility," when a fetus would not be able to survive after birth. To obtain an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy because of rape or incest, a woman would have had to first file a police report.

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