Today, following last week’s Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, Georgia Democrats held a press conference to discuss the implications for Georgia women, highlight how Democrats will work to protect reproductive health care in Georgia, call out Georgia Republicans for their dangerous, unpopular anti-choice agenda, and outline the stakes of the midterm elections in protecting abortion rights.
With Roe v. Wade overturned, Georgia Republicans up and down the ballot now have a clear path to attack reproductive freedom and make abortion illegal with no exceptions in Georgia.
In Georgia, hours after the Supreme Court decision on Friday, Attorney General Chris Carr sent a letter to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals calling on them to allow for the implementation of HB 481, Brian Kemp’s 2019 six-week abortion ban, which had been held up in court awaiting the Supreme Court’s ruling. The 11th Circuit has given parties in the lawsuit 21 days to submit briefs outlining the impact of the Dobbs decision on the bill, but the full legal process could take several weeks, during which time abortion is still legal up to 20 weeks in Georgia. Once HB 481 takes effect, abortion in Georgia would become illegal before most women even know they’re pregnant.
And despite the fact that nearly 7 in 10 Georgians support Roe v. Wade, Republican candidates like Burt Jones and Herschel Walker have vowed if elected to make abortion illegal with no exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to the life of a mother.
“The disastrous decision in Dobbs v. Jackson has cleared the way for Republicans to roll back the fundamental rights of women to make their own health care decisions – including right here in Georgia. With Roe overturned, the Georgia Republicans now have a clear path to enact their dangerous, out-of-touch agenda and strip women of the right to make their own private medical decisions,” said Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Chair of the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Make no mistake – with the protections in Roe gone, the midterm elections in Georgia have become a referendum on reproductive freedom. We can’t afford to let Republicans like Brian Kemp and Chris Carr stay in control at the state level, and we can’t afford to elect people like Herschel Walker to represent us in Washington, because they’ve made it clear that if they’re elected, they’ll ban abortion with zero exceptions.”
“I cannot overstate the impact on women, on families, on health care providers. This decision is so broad and so far-reaching that it’s going to impact every single person in the state of Georgia – whether we’re talking about women and their ability to actually access abortion care, or if we’re talking about physicians who leave the state because they’re not going to practice in a state that may jail them if they are providing care that they are required to give to patients in order to save their lives. We are facing a situation where women are going to be asked incredibly private questions about their lives. And really, the impact is they’re going to be facing possible prosecution if they do what they think is necessary in terms of their health. And that is extremely troubling,” said State Senator Jen Jordan, candidate for Georgia Attorney General. “In a state where we have one of the worst maternal mortality rates in the country, in a state where we have not expanded Medicaid – we’ve got a real problem.”
“As a physician, I know firsthand just how important the patient-physician relationship is. And there is absolutely no reason why politicians should be putting themselves in between a patient and her doctor and inserting their opinions into that medical decision. I join all of my colleagues who oppose abortion restrictions and the shame that this places on pregnant women,” said Dr. Kelly Coffman, reproductive psychiatrist. “We know that Georgia has consistently ranked as one of the worst for maternal morbidity and mortality. What that means is women die. And if we don’t elect Democratic leaders up and down the ballot, that is what’s going to happen in Georgia. It’s what’s going to happen in our great nation if we allow the Republicans and their agenda to prevail.”
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