A judge in the US state of Georgia has overturned a law banning abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected.
His ruling took effect immediately statewide making all abortions legal up to 20 weeks of pregnancy.
The judge ruled that the ‘heartbeat’ law which took effect in 2019 was invalid because at that time the Roe v Wade decision allowing abortion was still in effect.
He left the door open for the state legislature to revisit the ban.
The state has appealed the ruling.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp claimed it placed “the personal beliefs of a judge over the will of the legislature and the people of Georgia.”
He vowed to continue to fight for the lives of the state’s unborn children.
The law had prohibited most abortions once a ‘detectable human heartbeat’ was present around six weeks gestation.
It had been blocked from taking effect until the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade.