Abortion ban in Georgia upheld, but will it be enforced?

GEORGIA (WSAV) — This week, the Georgia Supreme Court issued a ruling that pro-life groups say means a ban on abortion can move forward. It’s about a law passed five years ago that would ban abortions after 20 weeks.

“This decision means that the law that was passed in 2012 banning abortions after 20 weeks after a fetus can feel pain is now in effect,” says Camila Zolfaghari from the Georgia Life Alliance. “It’s just one step, one centimeter closer to a world where we don’t have the killings of unborn children.

The ruling, however, did leave the door open for additional legal challenges if opponents file those objections in a different way. The Georgia Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union says it’s not giving up. “Our position is that the 20-week abortion ban is unconstitutional and is depriving women of their Constitutional right to healthcare, ” says Andrea Young from the Georgia ACLU.

Young says the case of an abortion after 20 weeks often can involve medical issues that arise for the mother or child. “These are difficult decisions that no one would necessarily want to make,” said Young. “But we believe very strongly the Constitution protects the rights of women to make these decisions with their families and their healthcare providers, and it’s not for the government to make those decisions for them.”

The Georgia Alliance for Life hopes this ruling is a call for respecting life in all forms. “We really strive to support a culture that values human life and that’s human life from conception to natural death,” says Zolfaghari. “That is for the born children and the unborn children but also for the mothers, the parents and the elderly.”

Zolfaghari says they also want to offer women options and she says they have programs and a new statewide initiative to truly help more mothers. “One thing we really strive to do is support that mother facing an unplanned pregnancy or a difficult pregnancy, We’ve seen studies that show that up to 80 percent of women who get an abortion feel like they don’t have any other options.”

The Georgia ACLU says groups that want to support women can certainly do so and can start by not allowing the Affordable Care Act to be gutted. Young says the ACA has provided millions with birth control and reproductive advice, but much of that support and care would be dropped under the new Administration’s plan to gut and repeal the ACA.

For now, the issue of abortion is not solved. While the Georgia Alliance for Life wants the ban enforced, the Georgia ACLU says it is considering new legal options.

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