Ga. leaders react to Supreme Court’s landmark overruling of Roe v. Wade

ATLANTA — The Supreme Court of the United States has overturned Roe v. Wade, removing the federal right to an abortion.

The high court has decided that a 2018 Mississippi state law banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy is constitutional.

This decision allows states to decide on an individual basis whether to allow or ban abortions.

Seconds after the SCOTUS opinion was released, many Georgia leaders began releasing statements of support and opposition to the ruling.

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Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is calling the decision a “historic victory for...countless unborn lives.”

The governor is also highlighting work he has done to protect life at all stages, including adoption, foster care and human trafficking reform.

His statement appears to imply his intention to get the LIFE Act, unofficially known as the “heartbeat” law, made into law.

Kemp’s Democratic opponent for the governor’s seat during November’s General Election, Stacey Abrams, released a nearly four minute video on social media detailing her thoughts on the decision.

Democratic U.S. Senator from Georgia Rev. Raphael Warnock was among the first to express his dissent to the Court’s decision.

His opponent in November’s General Election, Republican Herschel Walker expressed the opposite opinion, saying he strongly support’s the Court’s decision to allow states to decide individually.

“This Supreme Court decision sends the issue of abortion back to the states, which is where it belongs. I stand for life and Raphael Warnock stands for abortion, including the heinous practice of partial birth and late term abortion. I won’t apologize for erring on the side of life, especially considering the radical abortion views held by Senator Warnock and today’s Democrat party.”

—  Herschel Walker

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens is calling the Court’s decision “sickening” and “immoral.”

“I am sickened by this decision that wrongly and immorally tells women that their bodies are not their own.

“The choice to have an abortion is one of the hardest decisions of many women’s lives. That choice is informed by a wide variety of factors, and government should not have a role in denying that choice.

“As a straight man, I have never been told by the government when, whether or how to start and raise my family. Make no mistake: this ruling will most grotesquely impact women of color and those who do not have the resources to travel to find safe and high-quality health care outside their communities where reproductive services are made illegal.

“I oppose this decision.”

—  Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens


Georgia Republican Party Chairman David Shafer released the following statement on behalf of the party:

Today’s historic Supreme Court ruling not only affirmed the sanctity and dignity of human life but resolved decades of unconstitutional rulings that interfered with democratic processes to protect the most vulnerable in our society.”

Congresswoman Nikema Williams, chairwoman of the Georgia Democrats, released a statement on behalf of Democrats across the state, saying:

“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.”

—  Representative Nikema Williams

Democratic U.S. Representative Carolyn Bourdeaux, who recently lost her re-election bid to fellow Democratic Congresswoman Lucy McBath, released a separate statement Friday morning.

“Today is a sad day for all Americans. After decades of attacks, abortion rights in the United States have been toppled and women will die because of this decision.

“In Georgia, this could have immediate consequences. HB481 — a controversial 6-week abortion ban passed by Gov. Kemp and state Republicans — could go into effect within weeks. This means women and doctors can face criminal prosecution over seeking life-saving medical care. Georgia is regularly ranked as one of the worst in the nation for maternal mortality. Women in Georgia are more likely to die as a result of complications with childbirth than in any other state in the nation, and HB481 will only make this worse.

“I am mortified to see the work of generations of women wiped away by Supreme Court Justices who do not share the values of a vast majority of Americans. Women’s health care is not debatable. I will keep fighting to restore what we have lost and protect our bodies, our lives, and our futures from the reactionary majority on the Supreme Court we have today.”

—  Representative Carolyn Bordeaux

State Representative and current Democratic candidate for Attorney General Jen Jordan expressed her concerns for female Georgians.

“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.”

—  State Representative Jen Jordan

Bee Nguyen, who is running to unseat Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger this November, says Friday’s decision is a death sentence for many Georgians.

Controversial Republican U.S. Representative from Georgia Marjorie Taylor Greene was ecstatic that the 1973 case was overturned nearly 50 years later.

Republican U.S. Representative from Georgia Drew Ferguson called the Court’s decision “sound legal rationale.”

“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.”

—  Representative Drew Ferguson

Republican U.S. Representative from Georgia Barry Loudermilk says this decision marks just the beginning of his work with the pro-life movement.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court confirms what has been true all along: there is no constitutional right to an abortion. This decision by the Supreme Court upholds the original intent of the Constitution, by limiting the federal government’s authority to only the powers enumerated in the Constitution. This decision effectively returns the power to decide abortion policy back to where it was intended to reside, with the American people and their state governments. As a result of this decision, voters will now have the ability to decide whether to save the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent children in their states, or to allow for abortion, and to what degree.

“While many see this as a massive move forward for the pro-life movement, it doesn’t actually outlaw abortions, it simply shifts the issue to where it belongs, as a state-by-state issue. For the pro-life community, our work is only beginning. The states will now need to enact laws to affirm the right to life for the pre-born at the state level. The Supreme Court corrected a decision that has been widely regarded as one of the most convoluted Supreme Court opinions in history, which held that the right to privacy, protected by the Constitution, gives us the right to kill an unborn child.”

—  Representative Barry Loudermilk

Republican U.S. Representative from Georgia Buddy Carter commended the high Court for creating “a nation that honors the humanity of unborn children.”

“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. 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.”

—  Representative Buddy Carter

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As Governor Kemp mentioned, because Roe v. Wade has been overturned, Georgia’s controversial “heartbeat” abortion law could be put into effect.

Georgia’s so-called “heartbeat” law would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, which is typically around six weeks into a pregnancy.

The law, officially known as the Living Infants Fairness Equality Act, or the “LIFE” Act, is currently in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and because Roe v. Wade has been deemed unconstitutional, judges could rule Georgia’s law constitutional and let to go forward.

It does have exceptions for medical emergencies, rape or incest, and if the pregnancy is no longer viable.

You can read the Court’s full 213-page decision here.