Georgia leaders, organizations react to overturning of Roe v Wade

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 12:19 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - Lawmakers, organizers, and community leaders begin to share their reactions to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade after almost fifty years.

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp

“Today’s landmark ruling is a historic victory for life. I look forward to its impact on the legal proceeding surrounding Georgia’s LIFE Act, and hope our law will be fully implemented and ultimately protect countless unborn lives here in the Peach State. Working closely with the General Assembly, we have made significant strides to stand for life at all stages - from adoption and foster care reform, to combatting human trafficking and passing the heartbeat bill - and we will continue that important work in the days and months to come”

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr

“I believe in the dignity, value and worth of every human being, both born and unborn. The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs is constitutionally correct and rightfully returns the issue of abortion to the states and to the people – where it belongs.”

U.S. Senator Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Georgia)

“I’ve always believed a patient’s room is too small a space for a woman, her doctor and the United States government,” said Senator Reverend Warnock. “The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade ends a core protection for women to make their own health care decisions, and is a departure from our American ideals to recognize and protect basic rights. This misguided decision is devastating for women and families in Georgia and nationwide.”

“Across the country, states have already passed dangerous and uncompromising restrictions that put politicians in charge of health care, instead of women and doctors,” continued Senator Reverend Warnock. “Our work to restore the right of women to determine and access their own care must continue. I’ll never back down from this fight because women should be able to make their own health care decisions.”

U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Georgia)

“With its decision in Dobbs, the Court has stripped American women of autonomy over their most personal health care decisions.

“The Court has given license to prosecute and imprison women for making the intensely personal decision to end a pregnancy — even when their health is at risk, even in the first hours or weeks after conception, and even when pregnancy results from rape — and to prosecute doctors and nurses whose private relationships with their patients have been protected by Roe v. Wade for half a century.

“Under Georgia’s HB481, the Court’s decision means Georgia women and medical providers could face prosecution for ending a pregnancy as early as six weeks after conception – before many women even know they are pregnant. This decision also creates risk of investigation and prosecution for women who miscarry and will force some women seeking access to abortion toward unsafe, unqualified alternatives that put their lives at risk.

“The Court’s reasoning imperils other longstanding precedents upon which Americans rely for privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties — including precedents that establish rights to contraception and to interracial and same-sex marriage.

“Here is the inescapable fact: the Justices’ determination to demolish these long-established protections means our only defenses are at the ballot box, in our state legislatures, and in the Congress — where I will continue to fight for the principles of Roe v. Wade and the privacy of women’s health care.”

Congressman Drew Ferguson (R-Georgia)

“The Dobbs ruling appropriately recognizes the Constitution does not confer the right to abortion, and gives individual states the ability to regulate the practice. The Supreme Court is correct in this ruling based on the Constitution and has exercised sound legal rationale.”

Congressman Sanford Bishop (D-Georgia)

“The Supreme Court has reversed over 50 years of judicial precedent and redefined the Constitution to remove a woman’s right to choose. Today’s opinion undermines women’s autonomy to their own bodies and personal healthcare choices.

“These personal healthcare choices should ultimately rest with a woman, her God and her doctor—not with politicians in 50 different state legislatures that may likely encourage Americans to spy on their neighbors’ for a bounty; stalk women, their friends and supporters; criminalize doctors and otherwise limit access to healthcare.

“While I believe abortion should be rare, it should be legal, safe, and an available choice in cases of rape, incest or to protect the life or health of a woman.”

Rep. Earl L. “Buddy” Carter (R-Georgia)

“Millions of children have been silent victims of a decades-long siege on their right to life. The heartbeats heard in ultrasound appointments have now been heard by the Supreme Court, and we finally have a nation that honors the humanity of unborn children,” said Carter. “We followed the science, and it led us to know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that life begins at conception. The same unborn children that can feel pain in the womb will one day feel immense joy knowing that their life was valued from day one.”

State Senator Jen Jordan (D-Georgia)

“There is no doubt as to the unprecedented nature of today’s opinion and the horrific consequences that lay ahead. Never before has the U.S. Supreme Court stripped existing and established fundamental rights from citizens of this country. Rights that have protected the health and safety of women across this nation for almost fifty years.

“As a Georgian and a mother, I am most concerned with the impact that this decision will have on the women and girls in this state. A state with the highest maternal mortality rate in the country, where Black women are twice as likely to die in childbirth as white women, where 76 counties have no OBGYN and 60 counties have no pediatrician, where our top leadership opposes access to abortion even in cases of rape, incest, and the life of the mother, where our governor refuses to expand Medicaid, and where our attorney general would rather defend a six-week abortion ban in federal court than fight for the rights of Georgia women.

“Georgia is the next battleground for reproductive freedom, and the basic right of having control over one’s body will now wholly depend on the actions of leaders that we elect at the state level. So make no mistake about it, our fundamental rights are on the ballot this November. I’m running for attorney general because we need leaders who care more about protecting the people of Georgia than holding onto power.”

Leader Stacy Abrams (D- Georgia)

“For 50 years, Roe v. Wade safeguarded the right to choose for millions of women in Georgia + nationwide. Today, the Supreme Court struck down abortion rights. I am appalled. Enraged. Undaunted & ready to fight back. Our freedom matters. Our rights matter. We will not be still.”

Georgia House Dems. House Minority leader James Beverly (D-Georgia)

“Georgia House Democrats are heartbroken by SCOTUS’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The right to an abortion in Georgia now rests in the hands of the Georgia state legislature. Georgia House Democrats stand strongly in support of abortion access and reproductive rights. Georgia House Republicans have tried to pass a six week abortion ban and a ban on abortion pills before, and they will likely try to pass a full ban on abortions again. Now more than ever, it is crucial that Georgia voters turn out in November to elect Democrats up and down the ballot who will support abortion access and stand strong against Republican attacks on reproductive freedom.”

Democratic Party of Georgia Chair Congresswoman Nikema Williams (D-Georgia)

“Today’s devastating Supreme Court decision has paved the way for Republicans in many states to roll back the fundamental rights of women to have an abortion. With Roe v. Wade overturned, the Georgia GOP now has a clear path to enact their dangerous, unpopular anti-choice agenda that strips women of the right to make their own health care decisions.

“Make no mistake – with Roe v. Wade overturned, the midterm elections in Georgia have become a referendum on reproductive freedom. Despite the fact that more than two-thirds of Georgians support Roe v. Wade, incumbent Republicans like Brian Kemp and Chris Carr are working at this very moment to ban abortion in Georgia, and candidates like Burt Jones and Herschel Walker have vowed to outlaw all abortion with no exceptions for rape, incest, or danger to the life of a mother if elected. It is more critical than ever that we re-elect Rev. Raphael Warnock and expand our congressional majorities to ensure women have the affirmative right to make their own health care decisions, send Stacey Abrams to the governor’s office to veto any Republican attempt to make abortion illegal, and elect Democrats at the state and local levels who will take bold action to protect abortion access for all Georgians.

“We will not stand silent in the face of attacks on women’s health care and reproductive freedom. Rest assured that Georgia Democrats are prepared to fight like never before to protect abortion rights and elect pro-choice leaders who will safeguard our freedoms.”

Columbus/Muscogee Republican Party Chairman Alton Russell

“This Court ruling is a good ruling,  It says that rights to an abortion is not in The Constitution,  It does place abortion issues  back to the states and the people,  they did not make abortion illegal.

No matter what you may hear.  Each state and the legislatures will make the decision,  and those legislators will face the people that elected them.

As it should be.”

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