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Constitutional Rights & the Public’s Health

SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, et al. v. Governor of the State of Georgia, et al.

Overview

SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, et al. v. Governor of the State of Georgia, et al. (U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Cir., July 20, 2022): Following the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which removed the federal constitutional protection of abortion, the 11th Circuit reinstated a previously invalidated Georgia law banning most abortions after detection of a heartbeat. The law changed the state’s definition of “natural person” to include the unborn at any stage of conception and bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected, except in the case of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy. The district court had prohibited enforcement of the law because it banned pre-viability abortions in violation of the previous constitutional standard set by Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey. The lower court also found that the new definition of natural person was unconstitutionally vague because, in certain applications of the definition, it would be unclear whether the abortion providers challenging the law could be subject to criminal liability. The circuit court, applying Dobbs’ analysis of abortion laws and clarifications of the standards for claims such as unconstitutional vagueness, overturned the district court’s ruling and reinstated the Georgia law. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – August 15, 2022 

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