Trial regarding Georgia LIFE Act begins as law remains in effect

By Cassy Fiano-Chesser

The Georgia law protecting preborn children from abortion upon detectable heartbeat is having its day in court, as testimony began Monday in the trial to determine its legitimacy. The law has been allowed to remain in effect as a lawsuit against it makes its way through the courts.

In August, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled that the law can be enforced, denying requests from the abortion industry for it to be blocked during the court battle to overturn it.

“The Court is making no finding on the merits of this important litigation,” he wrote in his ruling. “The question of whether it is constitutional for the State to force a woman to carry to term a six-week-old embryo against her wishes, even in the face of serious medical risk, remains to be answered. Until it is, however, the LIFE Act remains in effect.”

Under the law, which is known as the Georgia LIFE Act, abortion cannot be committed once a preborn child’s heartbeat can be detected; typically, the preborn child’s heart begins beating 16-22 days after fertilization, and can be detected via ultrasound at six weeks gestation. Exceptions are included in the law for cases of rape and incest.

Multiple groups sued to have the law overturned, including the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Center for Reproductive Rights, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. Carrie Cwiak, an abortionist, is also a plaintiff in the lawsuit, and testified on the first day of the trial. “It’s upsetting,” she said. “It’s emotional.”

The lawsuit claims that protecting preborn children from abortion forces pregnancy and childbirth onto women. “It means they either have to forcibly remain pregnant or find a way to get out of state to go to a state that provides more access,” Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Susan Lambiase said in a statement. Cwiak also claimed that doctors are terrified of being sent to jail, though she was forced to admit that she doesn’t know of a single physician who has been prosecuted under the law.

Over the summer, Gov. Brian Kemp and his wife, Marty, celebrated that the law would be able to take effect, and promised that Georgia would stand ready to support women and children.

“We have worked hard to increase supportive services for mothers and their children, before, during, and after birth,” they said, adding, “We are overjoyed that the court has paved the way for the implementation of Georgia’s LIFE Act, and as mothers navigate pregnancy, birth, parenthood, or alternative options to parenthood — like adoption — Georgia’s public, private, and non-profit sectors stand ready to provide the resources they need to be safe, healthy, and informed.”

Editor’s note. This appeared at Live Action News and is reposted with permission.