Abortions still accessible while Ga.’s heartbeat bill on hold for a few weeks

Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 11:16 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Abortion care is still accessible statewide while Georgia’s ‘heartbeat bill’ remains on hold in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court is expected to soon rule on the controversial bill, House Bill 481.

“The 11th Circuit will issue an opinion upholding the Georgia law, and as soon as that opinion gets filed officially, then abortion will be illegal in Georgia after 6 weeks,” said Eric Segall, Georgia State Ashe Family Chair Professor of Law.

According to a spokesperson for the Georgia Attorney General, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit filed a new docket transaction around SisterSong Women of Color Rep. v. Governor of the State of GA on June 24.

The order directed each party to file supplemental briefs addressing the effect, if any, the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization has on this appeal.

The order continues to read that each party must file simultaneous letter briefs, not to exceed 10 single-spaced pages, within 21 days of the order.

“I don’t see any reasonable basis for striking down this law so I don’t know what the plaintiffs can say other than we lose,” said Segall, who formerly clerked for the 11th Circuit.

One OB-GYN in Atlanta said she’s already seeing the confusion in exam rooms with abortion rights in limbo statewide.

“It’s a mixture of where do I go next, what am I supposed to do, and what will I be able to do,” said Dr. Didi Saint Louis, on what patients are asking reproductive health specialists this week.

Dr. Saint Louis said healthcare providers are also working to get answers with many aspects of abortion access in question across the country.

“It’s very hard to give even an educated guess to what’s going to happen, what’s it going to look like once the dust settles,” said Dr. Saint Louis.

Saint Louis stressed to remind those considering an abortion that abortion care is still accessible statewide.

“For the state of Georgia, abortion care access and abortion care is still legal, so for women in the state of Georgia, they need to have those conversations with their provider,” said Saint Louis.