Federal District Judge Steve C. Jones, a Barack Obama appointee, has permanently blocked the state of Georgia's "heartbeat" abortion law, claiming that protecting all human children with a beating heart violates the U.S. Constitution.
The decision makes permanent the temporary block Jones imposed in October 2019 that prevented the law from going into effect pending review. The state is now prohibited from ever enacting House Bill 481 which banned the intentional ending of a human life in utero once a "detectable human heartbeat" was identified.
Abortion advocacy organizations who brought the case, like those with Atlanta-based SisterSong, hailed the decision as a major win for "bodily autonomy."
"No one should have to live in a world where their bodies and reproductive decision making is controlled by the state," SisterSong Executive Director Monica Simpson said in a statement.
However, state officials like Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, vowed an immediate appeal of the anticipated decision from Jones.
"We will appeal the court's decision," Kemp said in a statement. "Georgia values life and we will keep fighting for the rights of the unborn."
? The Supreme Court struck down similar restrictions on abortion in Louisiana in June.