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Your Guide to Abortion Law in Georgia

Abortion law in Georgia is now available up to 22 weeks before a pregnant woman can get it, according to the new law and Court judgement.

As the state’s 6-week ban had been removed and the Life Act is also partially altered to protect the right of self-determination for a woman.

Premature termination of pregnancy is a word used to describe abortion. An unintentional abortion is known as a miscarriage or “spontaneous abortion.”

Causes for Abortions

Abortion is performed on women for a variety of various causes around the world.

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Maternal health, domestic problems, economic strain, insufficient support, feeling immature, abuse, and not wanting to parent goes hand in hand.

Unsafe abortions cause maternal death in developing countries.

Moreover, self-managed medication abortions are immensely reliable and safe, and safe abortion is legal and accessible, which reduces maternal deaths.

Abortion Law in Georgia

Abortion had been a controversial issue for many decades. Furthermore, the termination of pregnancy had been an enormous part of the anatomy of a woman and her right to privacy jurisprudence.

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Another chapter was added to the jurisprudence by admitting the right to privacy in 1890, Harvard law school published a thesis on the right to privacy as the right to be left alone.

The rise of the yellow press coincided with a technological revolution that set the concept of the development of the right to privacy on a clear course.

The social changes in society regarding reproductive rights added another piece to the puzzle to protect the privacy of individuals.

In 1959 the U.S. drafted an American law to properly procedure abortions in the country. In 1968 Georgia ratified the same.

As per the then Georgia’s accessible abortion legislation, only in instances of rape, catastrophic unborn child deformity, or the possibility of causing or fatal injury to the mother did abortion permissibly.

Restrictions on Abortion Law in Georgia

Physicians, committee, and certain circumstances required authorization as well. The following criteria should also be satisfied.

(1) The expectant mother’s life would be in danger or her health would sustain “grave and permanent” impairment.

(2) The unborn child would “very likely” be born with catastrophic, and serious, irreversible mental or physical defects.

(3) The pregnancy was the ramification of incest and the sexual act of rape. Furthermore, it was applicable only to Georgia’s residents.

6-Week Abortion Law in Georgia

In the ante-2019 era, it was the settled law that states can not put an abortion ban in pre viability period. And the interest of women was considered prior.

In 2019 State can after a six-week abortion ban on pregnancy.

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This six-week will be counted as two weeks after a woman misses the first period. This bill was passed when Roe vs, Wade was still Lex Terrae (the law of the land) in the USA.

Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE)” Act

Amidst the seismic transformation due to Dobbs vs Jackson, the constitutional validity of the “Living Infants Fairness and Equality(LIFE)” Act was already in question.

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The House Bill was challenged as unconstitutional and violated the right to privacy of women.

The court of Georgia observed in order to utilize the doctrine of ab initio, the time of enactment is the essence referring to Jones vs. McCaskill (1900).

There were certain sections in the act that covert pre-viability and thus rendered void ab initio.

Further, the sections observe the pre-requisite of medical practitioners to detect the heartbeat of the fetus, to conclude viability was upheld.

And at last, the Bill includes the Department of Public Health should be provided with the doctor’s report before performing post-viability abortions, declared void ab initio as well.

The case of Sistersong Woman of Color Reproductive Justice Collective vs. the State of Georgia is a lawsuit.

The most important idea is that providing only the first six-week time for an abortion infringes on women’s fundamental rights.

Furthermore, in November 2022, the courts granted a permanent injunction against the abortion 6-week ban.

The ruling struck down Sections 4 and 11 of the Life Act stating it was unconstitutional. That insinuates that the pregnant woman has abortion access up to 22 weeks of her pregnancy.

It is now up to the State legislature to enact new laws accordingly after the decision of Dobbs on the termination of pregnancy.

Abortion Law in Georgia – Court Hearings

1. Doe vs. Bolton

The plaintiff, in this case, filed a suit under the alias Mary Doe (Sundra Canos), against Arthur Bolton.

She had already had children and was nine weeks into her pregnancy. In her arguments, she claimed to have a neurochemical disorder.

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Since abortion in Georgia’s legislation is very restricting, the only recourse to prevent pregnancy in the future by the couple is renouncing sexual activities.

The three panels of judges unanimously favoured that Georgia’s abortion laws restrictions were unconstitutional.

Also upheld medical advice related to abortion decisions and this act will only apply to Georgia’s citizens.

2. Roe vs Wade

In June of 1969 Norma McCorvey, then 21 years old, was separated from her husband and found out she was expecting her third child.

The lawsuit in the United States in 1970, under the legal alias “Jane Roe” in the Court on behalf of McCorvey. The Supreme Court decided in “Jane Roe’s” favour by 7-2.

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Women in the United States have the right to choose abortion without government interference according to the Supreme Court.

Along with the ruling, the court also gave the verdict in Doe v. Bolton, a Georgian lawsuit depicting an analogous complexity to Georgia’s abortion control.

The 14th Amendment ensures the right to privacy, which is essential for a woman’s right to end her pregnancy.

It was further guided that during the initial trimester, the pregnant woman shall have right over her body;

The second trimester, the state will prioritize and safeguards the woman’s health;

And in the third trimester, the unborn child is labelled as “capable of life outside the woman’s womb,” and there will be legal repercussions, including penalties.

In 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, a landmark case, overturned the third scenario of Roe vs Wade, outlined by the court.

3. The Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization (2022)

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In 2022, the well-known and contentious case of Dobbs inter alias supersedes Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey.

The right to an abortion is not protected by the Bill of Rights, which was reiterated in the Supreme Court of the United States’ most recent judgement.

Conclusion – Abortion Law in Georgia

In the post-Dobbs landscape, in the case of the state of Georgia v. Sistersong Woman of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, et al,

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In late November, the Supreme Court of Georgia upheld the state’s restriction on abortion starting at roughly six weeks until it hears the state’s appeal. The constraint is until the fetal heartbeat is detectable.


1. Is abortion in Georgia permissible without parental consent?

Yes, it is a requirement to get parental consent to get an abortion if you are underage in Georgia.

Also according to the new law, the pregnant woman can have an abortion, before and after the fetus’s vibility is discovered.

2. How delayed can you get an abortion in GA?

Before 2019, it was accessible for all woman to abort their pregnancy before the heartbeat of the unborn is detectable.

But after the viability period, it falls under the category of certain exceptions to get an abortion.

Well according to the new law and decision by the Court, it is up to 22 weeks before a pregnant lady can access abortion.

As the state’s 6-week ban had been removed and the Life Act is also partially altered to protect the right of self-determination for a woman.

And in November 2022, the Apex Court ruled temporary access to the six-week ban legislation until the state appeals against it.

Last Updated on May 10, 2023 by Janhavi Ramesh Kowligi