Judge hears arguments in challenge to Georgia abortion law

ATLANTA (AP) — A federal judge is considering whether to block Georgia's restrictive new abortion law while a legal challenge is pending.

The law bans most abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected, which can occur as early as six weeks into pregnancy.

A lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union argued in court Monday that it violates U.S. Supreme Court precedent by effectively banning most pre-viability abortions. The ACLU wants a judge to stop the law from becoming enforceable while its constitutional challenge is pending.

A lawyer for the state argued the law doesn't run afoul of Supreme Court precedent and should be allowed to take effect as planned Jan. 1.

U.S. District Judge Steve Jones said he would decide as soon as possible whether to block the law from taking effect.

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