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Georgia's Attorney General files to have state's heartbeat law take effect

The law was put on hold in the appeals court as judges awaited the Supreme Court's decision.

ATLANTA — Georgia's top lawyer is pushing the federal court to lift its suspension of the state's heartbeat abortion law in the wake of the Supreme Court's opinion on Roe v. Wade.

Court records show Attorney General Christopher Carr wrote to the U.S. Appeals Court, citing it can no longer keep Georgia's Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act from becoming law.

Carr writes now that the Supreme Court has delivered its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which triggered the high court's review of its opinion on the precedent-setting Roe v. Wade -- which blocked legislation like Georgia's LIFE Act.  

"There is, simply put, nothing left of the Plaintiff-Appellees’ argument that Georgia law imposes an unconstitutional burden on the practice of abortion," the solicitor general writes on behalf of the Attorney General's Office.

Georgia's law bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is about six weeks into a pregnancy. It was already passed and signed by Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019 and then quickly challenged and suspended by federal courts in 2020.

RELATED: What happens to Georgia's heartbeat law now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned?

The ruling was appealed to the 11th Circuit, with the court deciding to ultimately put the case on hold until the Supreme Court finalized its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization.

Though the Supreme Court has walked back on its precedent, Georgia's law remains suspended until further court action puts it into play. Kemp also has the power to hold a special session and enact stricter abortion policies with the Georgia General Assembly. 

The governor could also decline to call a special session, leaving the matter to the next legislative session next year.

11Alive has reached out to the governor's office to see if Kemp will call a special session, but they have not returned a request for comment.

   

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