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updated: 12/25/2012 9:10 AM

Judge temporarily blocks Ga. abortion law

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Associated Press

ATLANTA -- A state judge has suspended a Georgia law banning abortions for women who are more than 20 weeks pregnant.

The law bans doctors from performing abortions five months after an egg is fertilized, except when doctors decide a fetus has a defect so severe it is unlikely to live. The law also makes an exception to protect the life or health of the mother, though that does not apply to a mother's mental health.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Georgia filed a lawsuit on behalf of three obstetricians challenging the law's constitutionality. The organization says the law violates the state's privacy protections as provided for in the state constitution.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Doris Downs suspended the law Friday and it was set to take effect Jan. 1.

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