Judges Block Strict Abortion Laws

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Judges Block Strict Abortion Laws

Lawmakers in two states passed strict abortion laws, but federal judges put them both on hold this week.


In Georgia, a judge issued a permanent injunction against a law that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat was detectable. This law, passed last year, has been the center of legal squabbles. And in Tennessee, another judge issued a temporary injunction against enforcing a law that would have the effect of banning nearly every abortion in the state.


These two laws are similar to other states’ laws that are aimed at curbing abortions. Sponsors of these bills say they are necessary to protect the lives of unborn children. They argue that once a heartbeat is present, a fetus should be considered a viable human. Opponents, however, say these laws infringe upon a woman’s constitutional right to privacy.


Federal judges have largely agreed with those who are fighting these laws. These judges have concluded that the laws do indeed go further than Supreme Court decisions, such as Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v Casey, allow. The judges in these two cases point to other successful challenges of similar laws in their injunctions.


Some supporters of these stricter abortion laws also admit to a strategy of passing laws they know will set up a judicial showdown over whether the laws are constitutional or not. Their hope is to use the court fights over the new abortion laws as an avenue to have the Supreme Court get involved an issue a ruling that is more favorable to abortion opponents.


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