Friday, July 22, 2022

11th Circuit Upholds Georgia's LIFE Act

In Sistersong Women of Reproductive Justice Collective v. Governor of State of Georgia, (11th Cir., July 20, 2022), the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the constitutionality of Georgia's Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act which amends the definition of "natural person" in Georgia's statutes to mean "any human being including an unborn child". It also prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. The court said in part:

The district court entered a summary judgment for the abortionists challenging the Georgia law and permanently enjoined state officials from enforcing it. But intervening Supreme Court precedent, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., 142 S. Ct. 2228 (2022), makes clear that no right to abortion exists under the Constitution, so Georgia may prohibit them. And the expanded definition of natural person is not vague on its face. We vacate the injunction, reverse the judgment in favor of the abortionists, and remand with instructions to enter judgment in favor of the state officials.

Reporting on the decision, CBS News also noted:

Normally, the ruling wouldn't take effect for weeks. But the court issued a second order Wednesday allowing the law to take effect immediately.