ATLANTA (AP) — A trial to determine whether Georgia can continue to ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy is set to begin Monday in an Atlanta courtroom.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney has scheduled two days of testimony in a lawsuit that seeks to strike down the law on several grounds, including that it violates the Georgia Constitution’s right to privacy and liberty. violates “countless Georgians by forcing pregnancy and childbirth”.

The state attorney general’s office said in a response filed in court that Georgia’s privacy protections do not extend to abortion because it affects another “human life.”

Georgia law prohibits most abortions when a “detectable human heartbeat” is present. Cardiac activity can be detected by ultrasound in cells inside an embryo that will develop into a heart as early as six weeks into pregnancy. This means that most abortions in Georgia are effectively banned before many women even know they are pregnant.

Doctors and advocacy groups who filed a lawsuit against McBurney in July also argue that the law was wrong from the start because it violated the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court precedent when it was enacted. had gone.

The Georgia law was passed by state lawmakers and signed into law by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019, but was blocked from taking effect until the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which protected abortion rights for nearly 50 years, did not. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed Georgia to implement the abortion law just three weeks after the high court’s ruling in June.

The law includes exceptions for rape and indecency, as long as a police report is filed, and allows for later abortions when the mother’s life is in danger or a serious medical condition makes the fetus unviable.

The state has argued that the Roe decision itself was wrong and that the Supreme Court’s ruling wiped it out of existence.

In August, McBurney rejected a request by the plaintiffs to immediately block the abortion law while the case was pending, though he emphasized that the ruling did not touch on the merits of the case. Earlier this month, he denied a request by state officials to postpone the trial, which he, not a jury, will decide.

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