Georgia quickly becomes abortion battleground
June 27, 2022
Inside today’s edition of Swing State Georgia:
Full abortion ban still seen as unlikely in Georgia.
Local prosecutors oppose ‘Heartbeat bill.’
Big endorsements didn’t help in one Georgia race for Congress.
The U.S. Supreme Court has made sure that abortion will be a big legal and political issue in the months before the 2022 elections.
And one of the prime examples is the state of Georgia.
In July of 2020, District Judge Steve C. Jones struck down Georgia’s six-week abortion ban, saying that his court was bound “to ensure constitutional rights are protected,” specifically a woman’s constitutional right to access abortion services as outlined by Roe v. Wade.
But with Friday’s Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr filed notice with the 11th Circuit requesting that it reverse the 2020 decision and allow House Bill 481, the so-called “Heartbeat bill,” to take effect.
It’s clear that with the midterm elections less than six months away, the Roe decision will reignite that legal battle and many more, as abortion suddenly dominates the political conversation in Georgia and other states.
Immediately after the Supreme Court’s decision on Friday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp hailed the ruling as a “historic victory for life” – but he’ll face new pressure to take action beyond H.B. 481, including an outright ban on abortions.
That’s not in the cards in the Georgia legislature, at least not immediately.
The votes weren’t there for a more sweeping ban in 2019 and they’re still not. Kemp’s aides say he’s now focused on implementing the restrictions that have passed.
“We’re confident that Georgia’s LIFE Act will soon be fully implemented,” Kemp wrote on Twitter.
Other moves embraced by some in the state legislature could include an effort to ban mail-order abortion pills.
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DANGEROUS DWELLINGS. Take a listen to today’s special edition of the AJC’s Politically Georgia podcast, when the AJC’s Alan Judd and Willoughby Mariano join the pod to discuss their “Dangerous Dwellings” investigation.
The project investigated low-income housing in the region, including years of homicide data that shows that murders cluster at certain apartment complexes, even while private equity firms make huge profits on the properties.
“I believe an abortion is a medical decision. That should be a choice made between a doctor and a woman, in consultation with her family,” she said.
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