After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, finding that abortion is not a constitutionally protected right and left abortion laws up to individual states, there was considerable clamor by pro-abortion activists about potentially stalling state decisions through legal wrangling. So far, their ability to stop states from representing their constituents has been limited.
Georgia's Heartbeat bill was actually passed by the Georgia General Assembly into law 2019, but it was blocked in 2020 when the US District Court ruled that the bill was unconstitutional. Everything changed after the Supreme Court decision in June. The law makes abortions illegal after a baby forms a heartbeat, usually at six weeks (babies also form brains and synapse activity at 6-8 weeks), and it matches with similar laws in Texas, Ohio, Oklahoma and many other states.
The law was vindicated by a federal appeals court this week when a three-judge panel ruled that the Supreme Court decision on the Dobbs case negated pro-abortion arguments of constitutionality. The appeals court added that “no clear right to abortion exists within the constitution” and that the state of Georgia is free to prohibit the practice.
Three exceptions are written into the law:
First, if a pregnancy occurs due to rape or incest it can be terminated as long as a police report is filed documenting the crime.
Second, if it is determined that the pregnancy presents a serious risk to the life of the mother.
Third, if there is a medical condition which naturally renders the fetus unviable.
The law also defines a “natural person” to include unborn children, granting personhood to babies still in the womb.
After 50 years of Roe v. Wade the practice has been well ingrained into our culture in medical terms, yet, the conflict over the Supreme Court decision in 1973 has never lost any momentum and it has never been fully accepted as legitimate. Around half of Americans say that abortion should be legal, but only under limited circumstances according to polls.
This was the root argument that abortion advocates made in 1973 after the decision on Roe v. Wade – That abortion would be legal, but with numerous limitations. Planned Parenthood worked extensively to reduce such limitations from state to state through a hailstorm of lawsuits until abortion was widely held to be a primary solution to any and all pregnancy concerns
With a large number of contraception options in play today, the "stigma" of motherhood out of wedlock non-existent, as well as adoption foundations and charities in place, the notion of using abortion as a form of contraception has lost legitimacy. Now, as the Georgia case shows, the decision is once again back in state hands and voter hands.