ATLANTA (AP) — A federal appeals court seemed to indicate Friday that it would wait until the US Supreme Court rules on a case that seeks to overturn its landmark decision guaranteeing a woman’s right to an abortion before ruling on the appeal of a lower court’s ruling blocking a restrictive Georgia abortion law.
The US Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in December on an attempt by Mississippi to overturn the high court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which affirmed the right to an abortion. Mississippi’s law would ban abortions later than 15 weeks into a pregnancy.
A three-judge panel of the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals heard arguments Friday on whether it should overturn a lower court ruling that permanently blocked a 2019 Georgia law that would have banned most abortions once a “detectable human heartbeat” is present. As early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before many women realize they’re expecting, cardiac activity can be detected by ultrasound in cells within an embryo that will eventually become the heart.