Georgia waits for decision on abortion law as president signs executive order over women’s rights

ATLANTA — As President Joe Biden signed an executive order that he said will protect some abortion rights, Georgia waits to see if a federal appeals court will reinstate the state’s heartbeat abortion law.

That law would essentially ban all abortions at six weeks. A decision on the law is expected in the next couple of weeks.

Friday’s executive order essentially tries to protect access to abortion pills, among other things.

The Georgia Legislature almost restricted access to them last session but it failed.

“The choice we face as a nation is between the mainstream and the extreme,” Biden said Friday.

Biden also blasted the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

This comes as Georgia waits to see if the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will use it to reinstate the heartbeat abortion law — also known as the Life Act.

Gov. Brian Kemp’s office told Channel 2′s Richard Elliot that it had no comment on Biden’s order, but referred Elliot to an earlier statement, saying:

“I look forward to (the Supreme Court decision’s) impact on the legal proceeding surrounding Georgia’s Life Act and hope our law will be fully implemented.”

Biden is directing federal agencies to protect access to abortion rights, including abortion pills by mail.


Just last February, a state Senate committee voted to ban home delivery of those pills.

Former state Sen. Bruce Thompson wrote the bill to also require an in-person doctor’s visit before prescribing the medication.

“This bill is simply to be able to protect women in our state, not to restrict the abortion pill, but to make sure it’s taken in accordance to the way it was designed,” Thompson said at the time.

That bill ultimately failed in the house.

Sources within the legislative leadership told Elliot on Friday that they have no interest in bringing up that or any abortion legislation at all next year.

Biden’s order also directs an agency to prevent data collectors from selling information that could be used to see if abortions are being considered, planned or performed.

“There is increasing concerns that extremist governors and others will try to get that data off your phone which is out there in the ether to find out what you’re seeking, and where you are going, and what you’re doing in regards to your healthcare,” Biden said.

Rep. Nikema Williams praised Biden’s executive order, saying in a statement.

“Preserving access to reproductive health care is a civil and human rights issue, which Republicans in Georgia continue to ceaselessly attack. President Biden’s actions today represent a critical first step in protecting patient privacy and safety, promoting clinic and provider security, and safeguarding access to vital services that women across the country rely on.”

Elliot attempted to contact the state attorney general’s office Friday to see if they had any plans to fight the executive orders in court.

He was told the office’s lawyers would have to examine that new order first before they make a determination.