×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Georgia’s ‘Heartbeat’ Abortion Bill Blocked by Federal Judge

A federal judge has granted an injunction blocking Georgia’s “fetal heartbeat” law, which bans abortion at six weeks’ gestation.

Judge Steve C. Jones sided with the plaintiffs, including Planned Parenthood and several women’s health clinics, finding that the law violated the Supreme Court’s precedents in Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

“This Court, as a district court, is bound by those decisions and, as stated above, is without discretion to overrule or otherwise change this abortion law precedent,” Jones wrote.

Should the state choose to appeal the decision, the suit would be sent to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Georgia was one of five states to pass a “heartbeat” bill this year. Pro-life lawmakers have been emboldened by the appointment of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to try to overturn those precedents. The laws have also been blocked by district courts in Mississippi, Ohio, and Kentucky. In past years, courts have struck down “heartbeat” bills in North Dakota and Arkansas.

In Georgia, generous tax credits have made the state a haven for film and TV production. After Gov. Brian Kemp signed the bill in May, many Hollywood studios, including Netflix and Disney, said they would reconsider whether to film in Georgia if the law were ever to go into effect.

The law was set to take effect on Jan. 1, 2020. The ACLU, the Center for Reproductive Rights, and Planned Parenthood filed suit in June to block the law.

In his ruling, Jones rejected the state’s argument that the Roe and Casey decisions have left undefined “the precise contours” of the state’s interest in protecting the unborn.

“What is clearly defined, however, is that under no circumstances whatsoever may a State prohibit or ban abortions at any point prior to viability, no matter what interests the State asserts to support it,” Jones wrote.

Unlike some other states, the Georgia bill included an exception for rape and incest, providing a police report was filed.

Kemp’s spokesperson said his office is reviewing the decision.

“We are currently reviewing Judge Jones’ decision. Despite today’s outcome, we remain confident in our position,” said spokeswoman Candice Broce. “We will continue to fight for the unborn and work to ensure that all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, and prosper.”

More Biz

  • Obit Obituary Placeholder

    Talent Agent Joseph Eric Rice Dies at 61

    Joseph Eric Rice, a talent agent who headed JR Talent Group, died unexpectedly at his home in Laguna Beach, Calif. He was 61. Rice headed his own talent agency based in Studio City where he primary handled actors. Earlier in his career, he headed the theatrical department at Abrams Artists Agency. Rice was born in [...]

  • Terry Back chairman ACF

    Veteran U.K. Media Investor Terry Back Joins ACF as Chairman

    CANNES — Veteran U.K. film industry investor Terry Back has joined ACF investment bank as chairman. ACF, headed by CEO Thomas Dey, has been at the forefront of the M&A activity around independent TV and film production outfits, mostly in the unscripted TV arena. ACF is in the midst of expanding its activities in the [...]

  • Santos Dumont

    Mipcom: International TV Output Picture Changing for U.S. Majors

    The global import-export strategies of the U.S. majors are in flux as the world’s major content companies gather this week in Cannes for the annual Mipcom market and conference. Disney, WarnerMedia and the other handful of media conglomerates that control the vast majority of the U.S. market are in the midst of a radical transition [...]

  • Jane Fonda Arrested

    Jane Fonda Arrested in D.C. During Climate Change Protest

    Jane Fonda was arrested on Friday in Washington, D.C. during a climate change protest, Variety has confirmed. “Today, the United States Capitol Police arrested 16 individuals for unlawfully demonstrating on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol,” Capitol Police communications director Eva Malecki said in a statement to Variety. She added that all were charged with crowding, [...]

  • Firefighters battle the Saddleridge fire in

    Saddleridge Fire Forces Evacuations, TV Production Shutdowns

    A wind-whipped wildfire has spread across parts of the San Fernando Valley north of Los Angeles and forced evacuations, threatened thousands of homes and closed parts of five major freeways. The Saddleridge fire has prompted mandatory evacuations affecting about 100,000 people between Porter Ranch, Granada Hills and Sylmar. Mandatory evacuations have been called for about [...]

  • amazon-studios

    Amazon Studios Pacts With Howard University for Entertainment Education Program

    Howard University and Amazon Studios have teamed to launch Howard Entertainment, a two-semester program based in Los Angeles that offers Howard students the ability to take courses, network with Amazon industry partners and gain work experience in the entertainment industry. The inaugural program will begin January. The curriculum and immersive experiences will start with academic [...]

  • Remembering Prince

    Prince Estate Slams Trump Campaign for Playing ‘Purple Rain’ at Minneapolis Rally

    The Prince Estate strongly criticized the Trump campaign for playing “Purple Rain” at a Minneapolis rally in which the president made multiple aggressive and juvenile comments about Democratic leaders, Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce and Jay-Z. In a statement posted on social media, the Estate wrote, “President Trump played Prince’s ‘Purple Rain’ tonight at a campaign event [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content