Stacey Abrams says leaked Supreme Court abortion ruling will shape her campaign

Credit: Nathan Posner

Credit: Nathan Posner

“Enraged” and “appalled.” Those were the initial words that Stacey Abrams used to describe her reaction to a U.S. Supreme Court draft ruling that leaked Monday night and indicates a majority of justices want to overturn access to abortion rights.

In an interview Tuesday with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she elaborated on why she found the document “deeply concerning” and why abortion rights will be at the center of her campaign for governor in Georgia.

“This campaign will absolutely lean into and lead on that issue,” the Atlanta Democrat said. “Because if I want to be the governor of one Georgia, that means I’ve got to govern for the women of Georgia. And the women of Georgia by and large agree that their right to choose should not be stripped away from them.”

The leading Republican candidates, Gov. Brian Kemp and U.S. Sen. David Perdue, both oppose abortion. Kemp in 2019 signed into law the “heartbeat bill” that restricts abortion after about six weeks. Perdue said Tuesday that if he were in office now, he would call for a special legislative session so that the General Assembly could implement a complete ban.

Abrams said she found it concerning that justices appear poised to overturn protections that have been in place for 50 years while opening the door to rolling back rights in other areas targeted by conservatives.

“It should be enraging to anyone that holds the belief that autonomy is an integral part of what makes us free Americans,” she said. “We should greet this news with rage and with absolute dismay, and we should be organizing ourselves to defend our people — to defend women and their rights to an abortion.”

The AJC asked Abrams whether there were any limitations on abortions that she would support. She said any decisions on how and when to terminate a pregnancy should be left up to women, their doctors and, if warranted, their families. But not elected officials.

“My support of abortion is grounded in the belief that this is not the role of our government, it is not the role of lawmakers,” she said. “It is the responsibility of women and their doctors, women and their families, women and whomever they choose to bring into the conversation, but it is not the conversation for government to be having.”