WHAT GEORGIANS ARE SEEING: Republicans Double Down on Dangerous Agenda to Ban All Abortion, While Democrats Reaffirm Support for Reproductive Freedom

May 11, 2022

One week after the leak of a potential Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade, Georgians across the state saw Georgia Republicans’ dangerous, unpopular, anti-choice agenda on full display – as well as Georgia Democrats doubling down on their commitment to protecting access to safe, legal abortion. 

Just this weekend, Mitch McConnell confirmed a national abortion ban is “possible” if the GOP takes control of Congress, and GOP candidates up and down the ballot have promised to work to ban all abortion in Georgia with no exceptions — even though 7 in 10 Georgians support Roe v. Wade and its protections for reproductive freedom.

Herschel Walker and the entire GOP Senate field have said they would ban abortions even in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the mother’s life, and would be a rubber stamp for a nationwide abortion ban — while gubernatorial candidate David Perdue and all four Republican candidates for lietuenant governor also support a ban on “all abortion.” Brian Kemp, who bragged about signing “the toughest abortion bill in the country” in 2019, has not ruled out a total abortion ban or taking action to further criminalize abortion in Georgia — and Attorney General Chris Carr is in court right now fighting to “vigorously defend” Kemp’s 2019 bill, which effectively bans abortion before most people even know they’re pregnant. 

Here’s what Georgians are seeing:

WSB-TV (Atlanta): Democrats hold press conference slamming GOP on abortion

  • WSB-TV Anchor: “Republican Leader Mitch McConnell told USA Today he could push for a national abortion ban if the GOP takes control in November…Channel Two’s Richard Elliot live in DeKalb County – and Richard, Democrats are ramping up the pressure on Republican candidates.” 
  • Richard Elliot, WSB-TV: “And particularly in the governor’s race and race for several State House seats.
  • “In a virtual news conference Tuesday, Democratic Party Chair Congresswoman Nikema Williams assailed Georgia Republicans over their support overturning Roe v. Wade.”
  • Congresswoman Nikema Williams: “The attack that Republicans are wielding on Georgians’ fundamental right to choose what happens with their own body is dangerous, disgraceful, and undemocratic.”
  • Elliot: “A recent AJC poll showed an overwhelming number of Georgians support keeping Roe v Wade in place.
  • “In statements, Some Georgia GOP candidates Tuesday mostly sidestepped Democratic allegations that they’d push for even stricter abortion laws. From Governor Kemp’s office, quote: ‘Governor Kemp has been and remains focused on defending Georgia’s strong pro life legislation against legal challenges.’ 
  • Democratic senator Raphael Warnock’s GOP opponent Herschel Walker’s campaign Tuesday said, quote: ‘Herschel is pro life and will vote to protect the unborn. He believes abortion decisions should be left up to the states.’”
  • “Last week, Kemp’s GOP opponent David Perdue took it a step further, saying he would push to ban all abortions in Georgia.”
  • David Perdue: “If I were governor, when that ruling comes down, I would call the general assembly back in and ask them to eliminate all abortion in the state of Georgia.”
  • Elliot: “An AJC poll back in January showed 68% of Georgians believe Roe v Wade should be left intact.”

Atlanta’s CW69: Democrats hold press conference slamming GOP on abortion

  • Ken Molestina, CW69: “Congresswoman Nikema Williams and activists held a press conference today about abortion rights. She and officials on both sides say abortion will be a key issue for voters in the midterms. Our Deidre Johnson reports.”
  • Deidre Johnson, CW69: “It’s been a week since a direct report from the Supreme Court was leaked about the future of Roe vs. Wade. Congresswoman Nikema Williams and other Georgia officials held a press conference to talk about how to protect abortion rights.”
  • Congresswoman Nikema Williams: “Abortion is still legal in the state of Georgia. But y’all, make no mistake that we’re looking at a future where the reproductive rights that we’ve had for over half a century are gone.” 
  • Johnson: “She’s not the only one to speak out on abortion rights. U.S. Senator Raphael Warnock says the news that came out on the Supreme Court has been devastating to a lot of women.”
  • Senator Warnock: “And I’ve always said that the patient’s room is too small and cramped a space for a woman, her doctor, and the United States government.”

WSB-TV (Atlanta): DPG Chair Nikema Williams on abortion rights

  • WSB-TV Anchor: “Expect to see the abortion fight front and center here in Georgia as we get deeper into this election year. Channel Two’s Richard Elliot continues our live TV coverage in Rockdale County with how Democrats are using this leak to energize their base and maybe attract some moderate Republicans.”
  • Richard Elliot, WSB-TV: “And a poll that came out just this past January showed nearly 70% of all Georgians want to keep Roe v. Wade just the way it is. But we are in campaign season. Republican David Perdue campaigning just a little bit east of here – he talked about this potential ruling. So did other candidates. 
  • “Georgia Democratic Party Chair Congresswoman Nikema Williams was passionate as we talked about the possibility of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade. She says they will campaign on this issue.”
  • Congresswoman Nikema Williams: “We will absolutely use every opportunity to remind voters that the Democratic Party of Georgia is standing up for their rights in this state.”
  • Elliot: “And in a statement, Democratic candidate for governor Stacey Abrams promised to fight to keep abortion legal. Quote, ‘As a woman, I am enraged by the continued assault on our right to control our bodies and our futures. As the next Governor of Georgia, I will defend the right to abortion and fight for reproductive justice.’”

WTVM (Columbus): DPG Chair Nikema Williams on abortion rights

  • Jason Dennis, WTVM: “With primaries just weeks away, leaders from Georgia in both major parties are weighing in on the potential of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.”
  • Barbara Gauthier, WTVM: “Republican politicians have long campaigned on wanting to overturn that decision, even though recent polls show 70% of Georgians want to keep it in place. Reporter Richard Elliot has more on how candidates are addressing the report.”
  • Richard Elliot, WSB-TV: “We caught up with Republican gubernatorial candidate David Perdue as he was campaigning for the GOP nomination in Morgan County. He was all ready to talk to voters about overturning Roe v. Wade and says he would call for a special legislative session to ban abortion altogether.”
  • David Perdue: “If I were governor, when that ruling comes down, I would call the general assembly back here to eliminate all abortions in the state of Georgia.”
  • Elliot: “Meanwhile, his opponent Governor Brian Kemp issued a statement reminding GOP voters that he signed the ‘heartbeat’ abortion bill into law. Quote, ‘Under my leadership, Georgia will remain the state that values life at all stages. And as we anticipate the US Supreme Court’s decision, Georgians should rest assured that I will continue to fight for the strongest pro-life law in the country.’” 
  • “Their Democratic opponent, Stacey Abrams weighed in too and highlighted the differences between the two parties. Quote, ‘As a woman, I am enraged by the continued assault on our right to control our bodies and our futures. As the next Governor of Georgia, I will defend the right to abortion and fight for reproductive justice.’”
  • “Democratic Party Chair Congresswoman Nikema Williams told me they will campaign on this issue to energize their base and go after moderate Republicans.” 
  • Congresswoman Nikema Williams: “We will absolutely use every opportunity to remind voters that the Democratic Party of Georgia is standing up for their rights in this state.”

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