The Attorney General for Georgia, Christopher Carr, has asked an Atlanta federal court to dismiss the lawsuit filed against Georgia’s pro-life heartbeat law that restricts abortion after the baby has a detectable heartbeat.
The lawsuit, led by the ACLU on behalf of Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective and others, argues that the law is too restrictive, as many women do not know they are pregnant when a preborn child’s heartbeat is first detectable, which can be as early as six weeks. The abortion activists have asked for a temporary injunction against the law.
“House Bill 481 bans abortion,” reads the pro-abortion plaintiffs’ argument according to court documents. “It does so in clear violation of Roe v. Wade and nearly a half century of Supreme Court precedent reaffirming Roe’s central holding. It is an affront to the dignity and health of Georgians.”
Attorney General Carr responded Monday by slamming the false notion that a woman can ever “need” an abortion for health reasons, saying that the state “[denies] all allegations in the complaint that killing a living unborn child constitutes ‘medical care’ or ‘health care.’” He also frankly stated that the law is intended to be a constitutional challenge, affirming that the text of the law “speaks for itself.” Carr asserted that, contrary to abortion activists’ claims, not all pre-viability abortion bans are unconstitutional and argued that Georgia has the authority to pass this kind of a law on account of the Eleventh Amendment to the Constitution, known as “sovereign immunity.”
The attorney general also railed against the prospect of a preliminary injunction against Georgia’s pro-life law. He argued that Georgia’s heartbeat law protects the life of a preborn child, an action which the state has a compelling interest and duty to undertake.
“[I]t is well-settled that ‘a fetus is a living organism within the womb, whether or not it is viable outside the womb (emphasis in the original),” he argued, citing the 2007 Supreme Court case Gonzales v Carhart, which upheld a federal ban on “partial-birth” D&X abortions. According to that precedent, a State “may properly recognize that an unborn child is alive even before ‘viability’ and — consistent with its power to protect unborn life—may prohibit the killing of that child by restricting certain types of pre-viability abortions.”
Throughout his filings, Carr referred to preborn babies as “unborn children,” a recognition of the humanity abortion supporters work hard to banish from the language.
Other “heartbeat bills” have been signed by Kentucky, Ohio, and Mississippi, but so far most or all have been blocked by courts.
Barring any injunctions, Georgia’s law is set to go into effect January 1, 2020.
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