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Federal Appeals Ct. Upholds Georgia Heartbeat Bill & Personhood of Pre-born Children

Judge Pryor of the 11th Circuit Ct. of Appeals Clears GA Heartbeat Law for Enforcement

The Georgia heartbeat bill was cleared for enforcement after a federal appeals judge ruled the recent Supreme Court decision in Dobbs made clear that “no right to abortion exists under the Constitution.”

A Landmark Opinion

Chief Judge William Pryor, writing for a unanimous court, tackled the critical question of whether defining the term “person” to include unborn children at every stage of development was unconstitutionally vague. His answer, that abortion is not a constitutional right and therefore Georgia may recognize the personhood of the unborn child, is a crucial step towards the equal protection of pre-born children.

This appeal concerns whether Georgia can prohibit some abortions and whether its redefinition of “natural person” to include unborn children is unconstitutionally vague on its face. The district court entered a summary judgment for the abortionists challenging the Georgia law and permanently enjoined state officials from enforcing it. But intervening Supreme Court precedent, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., 142 S. Ct. 2228 (2022), makes clear that no right to abortion exists under the Constitution, so Georgia may prohibit them. And the expanded definition of natural person is not vague on its face. We vacate the injunction, reverse the judgment in favor of the abortionists, and remand with instructions to enter judgment in favor of the state officials.

Judge William Pryor

In the opinion, Judge Pryor correctly used the term “abortionist” 19 times to refer to the plaintiffs who engage in the gruesome practice of dismembering children before birth.

Pro-Abortion Lawyers Reeling

In a joint statement from the Center for Reproductive Rights, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood, the pro-abortion organizations called the ruling “highly unorthodox” and described the fact that Georgia law can protect the right to life of the pre-born as “horrific.”

The Center for Reproductive Rights has been engaged in a coordinated strategy to block enforcement of abortion bans that recognize the humanity of the pre-born child under a theory of vagueness in multiple states.

This vagueness theory is what the lower federal district court initially used to block the enforcement of the Georgia heartbeat bill because, according to the lower court, the abortionists “are forced to hypothesize about ways in which their conduct might violate statutes amended by the [Act]”.

The ruling in Georgia addresses this pro-abortion legal theory directly and rejects it.

The court explains that challenges for vagueness are one of the areas of the law that had been distorted by abortion activism within the courts.

The opinion concludes with a strongly worded rebuke to pro-abortion lawyers attempting to prolong the special protections that Roe and Casey had granted to their cause.

Because a constitutional right to abortion does not exist, we decline to engage in abortion exceptionalism.

Opinion of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Sistersong v. Georgia

Judge Pryor had been on President Trump’s shortlist of judges to replace Antonin Scalia to the US Supreme Court. Eventually, President Trump nominated Neil Gorsuch.

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