ACLU of Georgia

Hearing for emergency motion against Georgia abortion law set

11Alive | July 29, 2022

ATLANTA — A hearing date has been set for an emergency motion on a lawsuit that, at least initially, seeks to temporarily halt Georgia’s 6-week “heartbeat” abortion law.

The ACLU and a group of doctors filed the lawsuit earlier this week. They argue that the Georgia abortion law violates the state constitution.

Georgia’s law was long halted by a federal judge, citing the now-reversed Roe v. Wade precedent. After the Supreme Court overruled Roe, the federal courts allowed the Georgia law to take effect.

The new lawsuit filed in Fulton County argues Georgia’s state constitution provides the kind of right to privacy that the original Roe decision was grounded in.

“The Georgia Supreme Court has robustly protected the right to refuse medical treatment, the right of a prisoner not to be force-fed, and the right to private sexual conduct,” Julia Kaye, an attorney with the ACLU  said. 

Judge Robert C. I. McBurney – who is also overseeing the special grand jury examining former President Donald Trump’s efforts to subvert Georgia’s 2020 election results – has been assigned the lawsuit.

A hearing for an emergency motion for a temporary injunction against the law – which would prevent it from being in effect while the lawsuit plays out in court – will take place on August 8 at 4 p.m.

“We are currently reviewing this filing and we will uphold our constitutional duty, as we do with all lawsuits against the state,” the Georgia Attorney General’s Office said in response to the lawsuit this week.

“It is difficult to imagine a greater infringement on an individual’s right to liberty and privacy than to be forced to undergo 34 weeks of pregnancy and hours or days of labor and delivery and then in most cases parent a child for the rest of their lives,” Julia Kaye, an attorney with the ACLU said during the question and answer portion of a news conference announcing the lawsuit.