Federal judge issues injunction against Georgia's abortion law

A federal judge issued an injunction Tuesday against Georgia’s abortion law from taking effect, a week after he heard arguments from both sides on the matter.

Last month, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia heard arguments over whether Georgia's restrictive new abortion law should be allowed to take effect while a legal challenge is pending.

The law bans abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy before many women know they're pregnant.

The legislation makes exceptions in the case of rape and incest if the woman files a police report first. It also allows for abortions when the life of the woman is at risk or when a fetus is determined not to be viable because of a serious medical condition.

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones heard arguments from both sides and ultimately told both sides that he would make a ruling as soon as possible.

Lawyers with the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, and the Center for Reproductive Rights filed a lawsuit earlier this year against Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, Attorney General Chris Carr, state health officials, and six district attorneys whose jurisdictions include the areas where the abortion providers who brought the suit practice.

Lawyers for the state argue that the law is constitutional and should be allowed to take effect as planned on Jan. 1.

Candice Broce, an attorney now working as a spokesperson for Gov. Brian Kemp's office sent FOX 5 News the following statement in response to the judge's decision:

“We are currently reviewing Judge Jones’ decision. Despite today’s outcome, we remain confident in our position. We will continue to fight for the unborn and work to ensure that all Georgians have the opportunity to live, grow, and prosper.”

Sean J. Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georgia sent this response to the injunction:

“This case has always been about one thing: letting her decide. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but every woman is entitled to her own decision.” 

The Associated Press contributed this report