“As Democrats, we need to continue to strengthen our message and own our narrative,” she said. “Let’s call it what it is, and it is attack on democracy. It is attack on people’s rights, their personal bodily autonomy.”
Georgia’s Republican-led General Assembly approved a law in 2019 that outlaws most abortions once a doctor detects a heartbeat in the womb — which is usually at about six weeks into a pregnancy and before most women know they are pregnant. It took effect last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which had guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion.
On Wednesday, the lawmakers attended two panels and a breakout session where they discussed tactics and strategies with colleagues from other states. Cannon, who also lives in Atlanta, said she shared insight on what providers in Georgia are doing to protect access to abortions and tips from a policy standpoint on how to combat narratives that are used to limit services.
Romman, of Duluth, said it was good to be in the room with other legislators from other states that have rolled back abortion access. She said they compared notes on messaging and addressing concerns from constituents who oppose abortion.
“It was great to learn about the creative ways that people are going about doing that, and that includes things like identifying why people need birth control outside of family planning,” Romman said. “And reminding people that even though you might have this deeply held belief ... there’s all of these other unintended consequences that are harmful and dangerous and frankly deadly.”
Romman and Beverly also mentioned that part of the strategy is looking forward to electing more like-minded people to the Georgia General Assembly to pass laws to protect access to abortion. Beverly said he wants to get more colleagues who can add to the work of Romman, Cannon and Schofield.
“It’s always great to highlight the work they’re doing so the state of Georgia realizes that the people who represent you are actually doing real work,” he said. “Hopefully, the state of Georgia will change in the next two to four years, and then the real work can show up.”