Judge has ruled that he did not have the power to do so at this stage of the proceedings.
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Several states, including Georgia, passed laws to restrict access to abortion in the wake of the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
A state judge on Monday refused to immediately suspend enforcement of Georgia's restrictive abortion law, which went into effect last month and bans most abortions once fetal heart activity is present.
Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney ruled that he did not have the authority to issue a preliminary injunction and block the law at this stage of the proceedings.
< p class="e-p">He stressed that his decision did not touch on the merits of the case, which will always be heard.
The question of whether s' it is constitutional for the state to compel a woman to carry a six-week embryo to term against her will, even in the face of serious medical risk, remains unanswered, he wrote.
The law prohibits most abortions once a detectable human heartbeat is present. Cardiac activity can be detected by ultrasound in the cells of an embryo that will eventually become the heart as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. This means that most abortions in Georgia are effectively banned at a time when many women do not yet know they are pregnant.
“We are deeply disappointed that the Court is allowing our state's extreme six-week abortion ban to remain in effect and put thousands of Georgian women at risk by denying them essential health care,” said said Monica Simpson, executive director of SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, in a statement. The group is the lead plaintiff in the case.
An email to a spokesperson for the office of the State Attorney General, Kara Richardson, does not x27; did not get an immediate response. The state had argued that the judge could not halt enforcement of the law while its constitutional challenge unfolded.
The lawsuit brought before the Justice McBurney on July 26 argues that the state's abortion law violates fundamental rights to liberty and privacy under Georgia's Constitution.