11th circuit panel stays appeal relating to Georgia’s abortion law

By Dave Andrusko

A three judge panel of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals voted Monday to stay an appeal relating to Georgia’s 2019 abortion law until the U.S. Supreme Court decides what it will do with Mississippi’s “Gestational Age Act”- – Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The decision panel, consisting of Judges Pryor, Lagoa, and Schlesinger, handed down its one sentence stay three day(s) after hearing testimony whether it should overturn a lower court ruling that permanently blocked the 2019 Georgia law. Georgia law would ban most abortions once a “detectable human heartbeat” is present.

The High Court is set to hear arguments on Dobbs in December. With few exceptions, Mississippi law prohibits abortions after 15 weeks.

“The 11th Circuit’s decision to stay Georgia’s (abortion law) only confirms that, with modern medical science showing the complex development of human life in the womb, Roe v. Wade is no longer a matter of settled law,” said Joshua Edmonds, Executive Director of Georgia Life Alliance. “We look forward to the 11th Circuit ultimately upholding Georgia’s heartbeat bill so we can begin protecting innocent children and providing the much-needed tax deduction and child support benefits it provides to pregnant women.”

Georgia Governor Spokesperson Katie Byrd said in an email that Georgia Gov. Kemp remains confident that the state will ultimately prevail in court,

“Georgia is a state that values life, and the Governor is proud to champion and defend the LIFE Act,” she said.

The pro-abortion group SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice and several abortion providers, represented by The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia, sued Gov. Brian Kemp and other state officials in 2019. The state filed its appeal shortly after a federal judge struck down the ruling.