The U.S. District Court in Atlanta granted a preliminary injunction in October in a challenge to Georgia’s ban on abortion from the earliest weeks in pregnancy, blocking the law from taking effect and protecting critical health care.
The ban, which was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp in May 2019, would have banned abortion before many people even know they are pregnant. A broad coalition of healthcare providers, attorneys for the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Georgia, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a challenge to the law, Sistersong v. Brian Kemp, in June.
Talcott Camp, deputy director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project, said, “This is a victory for people in Georgia and a reminder that these attacks on abortion access are illegal. Abortion is still legal in all 50 states. We won’t stop fighting until we defeat all efforts to block access.”
This year, Georgia was one of several states, along with Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio, to enact similar abortion bans in early pregnancy.
Plaintiffs in the case are doctors, health care providers, and patients, including: Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Feminist Women’s Health Center, Planned Parenthood Southeast, Inc., Atlanta Comprehensive Wellness Clinic, Atlanta Women’s Medical Center, Femhealth USA D/B/A Carafem, Columbus Women’s Health Organization, P.C., Summit Medical Associates, P.C. physicians, staff, and patients, and Dr. Carrie Cwiak, Dr. Lisa Haddad, and Dr. Eva Lathrop on behalf of themselves and their patients.
“We’re relieved that these bans and restrictions have been blocked from taking effect and we’re determined to see them struck down for good,” said Holly Dickson, legal director and interim executive director of the ACLU of Arkansas. “Personal medical decisions are just that – personal – and politicians have no business barging into people’s private decisions, shutting down clinics and blocking people from care that they need.”
Thanks to the ACLU, none of the state abortion bans passed earlier this year are in effect. Abortion remains legal in all 50 states.