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Judge overturns Georgia abortion ban starting at six weeks of pregnancy

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A Fulton County judge has overturned Georgia’s six-week abortion ban, ruling that two key parts of the law “were plainly unconstitutional when drafted, voted upon, and enacted” and writing that the law cannot be enforced.

The ruling Tuesday by Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney stemmed from a lawsuit that argued the state’s “heartbeat bill” violated pregnant people’s rights to liberty and privacy rights under the state constitution.

Georgia’s ban has been in effect since July. Kara Richardson, a spokeswoman for Georgia’s attorney general, told Axios that the state will “pursue an immediate appeal and will continue to fulfill our duty to defend the laws of our state in court.”

In his 15-page ruling, McBurney said that when the law took effect, “everywhere in America, including Georgia, it was unequivocally unconstitutional for governments — federal, state, or local — to ban abortions before viability.”

The decision adds new pressure on lawmakers from both sides of the aisle to advance abortion measures — either restrictions or protections.

Kemp, who won reelection last week, could face pressure from antiabortion advocates to further restrict the procedure in the state once legislative sessions reconvene. He beat Democrat Stacey Abrams, who had pledged to roll back restrictions on the procedure.

Meanwhile, Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr (R) also won reelection last week, beating back a challenge from Jen Jordan, a Democratic state senator. Carr had moved to enact the state’s ban on abortion after fetal cardiac activity is detected after the nation’s highest court overturned Roe.

This is a developing story and will be updated.