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ATLANTA – The American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Georgia filed a lawsuit today challenging a Georgia law banning pre-viability abortions. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three Georgia obstetrician-gynecologists whose patients include women in need of this essential medical care. The doctors are suing so that they can continue to keep their patients safe.
The law criminalizes virtually all abortions starting at 20 weeks of pregnancy, and contains only the narrowest exception for medical emergencies.
“Politicians should have no say in a woman’s most private medical decisions,” said Alexa Kolbi-Molinas, staff attorney with the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project. “A woman should have the peace of mind of knowing that no matter what unanticipated problems arise during pregnancy, she’ll be able to make the best decision for herself and her family.”
The ban would force a physician caring for a woman with a high-risk pregnancy to wait for her condition to deteriorate until she was in a medical emergency before offering her abortion care to protect her health.
“Our elected officials should be more interested in passing laws that ensure women have access to necessary medical services, not blocking access to them,” said Chad Brock, staff attorney with the ACLU of Georgia. “This law places a woman in danger by limiting her ability to receive urgent care.”
Although very few abortions occur after 20 weeks, a woman who has an abortion at this point does so for a variety of reasons, including the fact that continuing the pregnancy poses a threat to her health, that the fetus has been diagnosed with a medical condition or anomaly, or that the pregnancy has failed, and miscarriage is inevitable.