Federal Court Blocks Georgia’s Abortion Ban From Taking Effect
By Planned Parenthood Southeast Advocates | Oct. 1, 2019, 7:15 p.m.
ATLANTA - Today, the U.S. District Court in Northern Georgia granted a preliminary injunction in a challenge to Georgia’s six week abortion ban, blocking the law from taking effect and protecting critical health care for more than 2.1 million people of reproductive age. The ban, which was signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp in May 2019, would have banned abortion from the earliest weeks of pregnancy, before many people even know they’re pregnant. With a broad coalition of health care providers, attorneys for Planned Parenthood, ACLU, and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a challenge to the law, Sistersong v. Brian Kemp, in June.
As of March, there has been a 63% increase in laws passed that ban abortion early in pregnancy. Nearly half of the more than 300 bills restricting abortion filed this year in state legislatures would severely restrict access to abortion. This year, Georgia was one of seven states, along with Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio, to enact similar abortion bans in earlier pregnancy. Despite widespread opposition, the bill passed by a narrow one-vote margin. This spring, Georgians came out in opposition to HB 481 like never before. Hundreds of Georgia citizens packed the halls of the State Capitol for weeks on end. More than 300 Georgia business leaders spoke out publicly against the ban. The medical community came out in united opposition to HB 481. The $9 billion Georgia film and entertainment industry continues to speak out. And more than 6,000 Georgians signed a petition urging Gov. Kemp to veto the bill.
Staci Fox, President and Chief Executive Officer, Planned Parenthood Southeast
“This is a victory for the people of Georgia and the entire nation. Governor Kemp heard from thousands of Georgians who opposed this unconstitutional ban, but he chose to ignore them and sign this into law anyway. In that moment, we made a few promises that we aimed to keep. To the countless Georgians who spoke out against this ban and were ignored, we promised to keep fighting every step of the way and we have. To our partners, we promised we were in this together and we are. To Governor Kemp, we promised to see you in court, and we did. But most importantly, to our patients, we promised to protect access to safe, legal abortion and together we have.”
Plaintiffs in the case are doctors, health care providers, and patients, including Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, Feminist Women’s Health Center, Planned
Parenthood Southeast, Inc., Atlanta Comprehensive Wellness Clinic, Atlanta Women’s Medical Center, Femhealth Usa D/B/A Carafem, Columbus Women’s Health Organization, P.C., Summit Medical Associates, P.C. physicians, staff, and patients, and Dr. Carrie Cwiak, Dr. Lisa Haddad, and Dr. Eva Lathrop on behalf of themselves and their patients.
Planned Parenthood Southeast (PPSE) provides high-quality, affordable healthcare to women, men, and teens in Alabama, Georgia, and Mississippi. Our experienced and caring health center staff gives each client honest information and personal attention.
Our legacy began in 1930 when a Planned Parenthood affiliate was created in Birmingham, Alabama. In 1964, our Atlanta, Georgia affiliate was founded followed by our Mississippi health centers in 1989. In 2010, all three states united under name Planned Parenthood Southeast and continue our commitment to the health of women, men, and young people in the deep south.
PPSE believes in the fundamental right of each individual to have access to high-quality, non-judgmental health care and prevention-focused education regardless of the individual's income, marital status, race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, faith identity or immigration status. Our mission is to provide comprehensive sexual health care through the provision of reproductive health services, education and advocacy.
Tags: Georgia, six-week abortion ban, abortion access, Atlanta, Federal Courts