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A judge is considering whether Georgia officials should once again be prohibited from enforcing the state’s restrictive abortion law while a legal challenge against it is pending.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney heard arguments Monday from lawyers for the state and for doctors and advocacy groups who filed a lawsuit challenging the law. He said he needed to think about the issues but that he would issue a ruling soon.

“I understand that this is something that needs immediate attention and I will give it that,” McBurney said at the end of the hearing.

The hearing focused on whether the judge has the power to block the law temporarily while the litigation plays out and whether the law was invalid from the start because it violated the U.S. Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court precedent when it was enacted.

Georgia’s law was passed by state lawmakers and signed by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp in 2019 but it had been blocked from taking effect. The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals allowed the state to begin enforcing it last month, just over three weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which had protected the right to an abortion for nearly 50 years.

The law bans most abortions once a “detectable human heartbeat” is present. Cardiac activity can be detected by ultrasound in cells within an embryo that will eventually become the heart as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. That means most abortions in Georgia are effectively banned at a point before many women know they are pregnant.

The law includes exceptions for rape and incest, as long as a police report is filed, and allows for later abortions when the mother’s life is at risk or a serious medical condition renders a fetus unviable.

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