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Georgia's 'heartbeat' law still on pause as court to consider arguments on impact of overturning Roe v. Wade

The court is allowing those in opposition to the law until July 14 to make their argument

ATLANTA — Georgia's "heartbeat" law won't immediately take effect as a result of the recent overturning of Roe v. Wade by the United States Supreme Court, at least according to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The law, which bans abortions after six week was signed into law in 2019, but it had been blocked from taking effect after several women's health centers filed suit.

Now, in a brief filed Friday, June 24 - the same day the Supreme Court's decision on Roe came down - the court has directed both parties tied up in the lawsuit to make their argument on how the new SCOTUS ruling would impact their appeal. Both sides have until July 14 to file a 10-page brief on the matter.

After news broke that the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr wrote to the U.S. appeals court that it can no longer keep Georgia's Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act from becoming law.

Supporters are pushing for it to be enacted immediately in light of the recent SCOTUS ruling, which places the decision whether or not to ban - or restrict - abortions back in the state's hands. 

However, with Friday's filing, the appeals court has said it will be hearing from both sides before issuing a decision on whether or not the law will take effect.

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

Last Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away the nation's constitutional protections for abortion that had stood for nearly a half-century. The decision by the court's conservative majority overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling and is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. 

Aside from the heartbeat law here in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp also has the power to hold a special session and enact abortion policies that would be stricter with the state's General Assembly. 

The governor could also decline to call a special session, leaving the matter to the next legislative session next year. 11Alive previously reached out to Kemp's office to see if he will call a special session, but they have not returned a request for comment.

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