BREAKING: State Court declines to block Georgia abortion ban in new challenge

·2 min read
Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia
Fulton County Courthouse in Atlanta, Georgia

On Monday, the Superior Court of Fulton County declined to block Georgia's abortion law after organizations providing reproductive health services in Georgia filed to block the law under the state constitution.

Earlier coverage of abortion law challenge: New lawsuit filed to block Georgia abortion law in state court after federal challenge lost

The lawsuit was filed in late July. It followed a federal appeals court ruling that Georgia's law, which bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, was legal under federal law and ordered it to take immediate effect.

The order from the Fulton County court denies a request from the plaintiffs to issue an injunction while the case is litigated. The court ruled that it lacks the jurisdiction to block the law under the principle of sovereign immunity, a legal concept that blocks lawsuits against the state unless the state has waived the right.

"The Court dismisses Plaintiffs’ motion, finding that the State has not waived sovereign immunity for claims for preliminary injunctive relief from aggrieved parties challenging the constitutionality of an act of our State’s Legislature," the order reads. "Put more plainly, the Court is dismissing the motion not on its merits but because the Court lacks jurisdiction to consider its merits."

Georgia high court doesn't say state can't be sued over ban

The court does not say that the state cannot be sued in this case, but that the court cannot issue a preliminary injunction. The ACLU, which is representing plaintiffs in the case, disagreed with the ruling in a press release.

“While the court emphasized that its ruling is purely technical and does not address the constitutional merits, it is horrifying that, for now, Gov. Kemp and his extremist allies can continue to subject Georgians to the severe medical risks and life-altering impacts of forced pregnancy and childbirth,” Julia Kaye, staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Reproductive Freedom Project, was quoted as saying in the press release.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information is available.

This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Georgia abortion ban still in effect as state court declines to block