Friday, July 22, 2022
Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective v. Georgia (11th Cir. July 20, 2022)
WILLIAM PRYOR, Chief Judge:
This appeal concerns whether Georgia can prohibit some abortions and whether its redefinition of “natural person” to include unborn children is unconstitutionally vague on its face. The district court entered a summary judgment for the abortionists challenging the Georgia law and permanently enjoined state officials from enforcing it. But intervening Supreme Court precedent, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Org., 142 S. Ct. 2228 (2022), makes clear that no right to abortion exists under the Constitution, so Georgia may prohibit them. And the expanded definition of natural person is not vague on its face. We vacate the injunction, reverse the judgment in favor of the abortionists [!!], and remand with instructions to enter judgment in favor of the state officials.***
Georgia enacted the Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act in 2019. 2019 Ga. Laws Act 234 (H.B. 481). Section 3 of the Act amends the definition of “[n]atural person” in the Georgia Code to mean “any human being including an unborn child.” Id. § 3(b) (internal quotation marks omitted). And it defines “[u]nborn child” as “a member of the species of Homo sapiens at any stage of development who is carried in the womb.” Id. § 3(e)(2) (internal quotation marks omitted). Section 4 prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected with enumerated exceptions. Id. § 4(b). The Act also clarifies that removal of an “ectopic pregnancy” or “a dead unborn child caused by spontaneous abortion” is not an “abortion.” Id. § 4(a)(1) (internal quotation marks omitted). Sections 5 through 12 amend other provisions of the Georgia Code involving child support, tort recovery for fetal homicide, informed consent for women seeking abortions, tax benefits, and related issues. Id. §§ 5–12.