ACLU of Georgia

ACLU, Women's Reproductive Rights Groups File Federal Lawsuit Aiming to Block the Heartbeat Law

By Hayley Mason | CBS 46 | June 28, 2019 

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — Standing outside of the Federal Building in Downtown Atlanta, leaders with the American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia delivered on their promise to sue Georgia Governor Brian Kemp for signing the so-called Heartbeat Law.


“We promised we would see him in court,” said ACLU of Georgia executive director, Andrea Young.


Leah Jones is four weeks away from giving birth to her first child. She is also the deputy director of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. She says she came to Friday’s press conference in support of choice.


“I am carrying, and I do want this pregnancy,” Jones said. “This is a very planned out pregnancy and I still believe that we have the right to make a choice to not do that if we don’t want to,” she went on.


The lawsuit filed in federal district court Friday morning is being brought by the ACLU on behalf of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Planned Parenthood Southeast and several other women’s heath groups and clinics who are all listed as plaintiffs. Gov. Kemp is at the top of a long list of more than 25 defendants.


“We are making a clear message here as well as a plaintiff in this case,” said Monica Simpson, the executive director of SisterSong. “We are making it clear that our organized resistance what is going to win. It is our duty to win.


The Family Policy Alliance of Georgia has been backing the legislation since it was introduced.


Cole Muzio, the executive director of the group said Friday evening that he is not surprised by the lawsuit but stressed that, from his viewpoint, “abortion is not healthcare.”


“We are not surprised,” Muzio told CBS46. We are ready for this. It is disappointing to see that the abortion industry is so entrenched and so anti-science that they continue to push on this,” he went on.”


The anti-abortion fight has been growing across the southern states in particular. Friday morning the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal from the State of Alabama which was trying to challenge a block of its ban on a specific abortion procedure that is commonly used during the second trimester of pregnancy.


“We work across Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, so we’ve been fighting all kinds of laws that have been chipping away at access to abortion for years now,” said Staci Fox, the CEO and President of Planned Parenthood Southeast. She has been following the Supreme Court’s movements on the abortion filings.


Fox says the lower courts in Georgia will be compelled to act more quickly because the request for injunction need to be decided on before the law’s effective date on January 1st, if it is to be blocked.