Roe v Wade overturned | Georgia reacts to U.S. Supreme Court decision

Kemp, Abrams, Warnock, Walker and others react with praise, rage over historic abortion ruling
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 11:00 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Reaction was fast and swift in metro Atlanta and Georgia to Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade.

“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. We have just filed a notice in the 11th Circuit requesting it reverse the District Court’s decision and allow Georgia’s Heartbeat Law to take effect.”

-- Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr

RELATED: Georgia AG files court notice requesting Heartbeat Law to go into effect

“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 Gov. Brian Kemp

“Today, millions of women in Georgia and across the nation watched as the Supreme Court rolled back their right to control their bodies and their futures. As a woman, I am enraged that our bodily autonomy has been ruled fungible rather than fundamental. Right here in Georgia, extremist Brian Kemp prides himself on signing ‘the toughest abortion bill in the country,’ even as the state grapples with a broken healthcare system and a shortage of medical access. Kemp’s dangerous and extreme six-week abortion ban will soon be the law across Georgia, forcing women to face prosecution and doctors to risk incarceration for a medical decision.

“The reversal of Roe v. Wade will not stop abortions. This mean-spirited, political decision will only prevent access to safe abortions and exacerbate crises in our state by preventing medical professionals from providing their patients with lifesaving care.

“As the next Governor of Georgia, I will fight each day to defend the right to choose and veto any legislation that further restricts abortion rights. I will work to ensure equity in access and family planning, increase availability of Plan B and emergency contraception, expand Medicaid to support low income women, and invest in critical maternal health care to reduce the maternal and infant death rates in Georgia. And I will work with the legislature to reverse the draconian law that will now rule our state. I want to lead One Georgia — a state where women have the right to choose, control their bodies and not have their rights stripped away. This callous decision proves once again that Georgians cannot afford four more years of a governor who puts his personal politics ahead of Georgians.”

-- Stacey Abrams, Democratic candidate for Georgia governor

“I’ve always believed a patient’s room is too small a space for a woman, her doctor and the United States government,. 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. 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. Sen. Raphael Warnock

“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, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate

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

“There is no disputing that life begins at conception, and today the Supreme Court protected the sanctity of life for future generations by overturning Roe v. Wade.”

-- U.S. Rep. Austin Scott, R-8

RELATED: A look at 50 years of U.S. Supreme Court abortion decisions

“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.”

-- Democratic Party of Georgia

RELATED: How SCOTUS’ abortion ruling impacts Georgia’s elections

“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.”

-- U.S. Rep. Drew Ferguson, R-3

“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.”

-- U.S. Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux, D-7

“Today, every woman in America has been made less free. Today, extremists on the Supreme Court have stripped away a woman’s right to make choices about her own reproductive health care. Today, our nation’s highest court has rolled back the clock and stripped women of their liberty.

“Today, SCOTUS overturned a half century of precedent, and Dobbs will now join Plessy as one of the most regressive decisions in our nation’s history.

“I share the pain so many are feeling in America today. The freedom and autonomy that has been ripped from women today is sacred—far too personal for our government to dictate. I know the agony that women face when making difficult decisions about their reproductive health. I have faced the pain of labor without hope for a living child. And I mourn the loss that will result from this decision—restricting access to abortion care will endanger the lives of women, disproportionately Black women, in a nation with already alarmingly high rates of maternal mortality.

“For all those who share my grief today, know this: you are strong and powerful beyond measure. Your worth is more than your ability to procreate. We will continue the fight to again reclaim our rights to bodily autonomy. We must take up this movement until America is again a nation of choice—a nation where every woman has that freedom to choose.”

-- U.S. Rep. Lucy McBath, D-6

“Today’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will have a devastating effect on Americans, and especially for Georgia women and families who already face barriers to healthcare. Georgia leads the nation in mother mortality rates, with Black women dying at a higher rate than any other women. Over half of our counties do not have OB-GYNs, and rural hospitals are shuttering their doors. In the wake of this decision, over 26 states are poised to effectively ban abortion — pushing necessary healthcare out of reach for over 36 million people. Here in Georgia, the door will be opened for courts to uphold a six-week ban on the procedure.

“Our basic freedom to exist is at stake, and we must use every tool in our power to fight back. This unprecedented attack on abortion is part of a broader assault on our fundamental rights. This decision puts at risk our other basic freedoms, including the right to access contraceptives and the right to marry the person we love. Because we can no longer rely on institutions like the Court, I cannot overstate the importance of changing the leadership in our state to ensure that we protect our basic rights in Georgia.

“We must fight back at the ballot box and wield our most powerful tool: our sacred, most fundamental right to vote.”

-- State Rep. Bee Nugyen, D-Atlanta, Secretary of State Democratic nominee

“Over the last few months, we have watched a constant attempt to roll back rights. Voting rights, reproductive rights, and fundamental civil rights have been targeted. As the oldest civil rights organization, we are the protector of civil rights. We understand the fierce moment of now, and we will fight vigorously to protect the rights and protections that our ancestors put their lives on the line to receive.

“We understand clearly that this decision will have a grave and direct impact on the reproductive rights of Black women. Therefore, the GA NAACP will do everything in its power to protect the reproductive rights of Black women.

“All the elected officials in this state need to do something to protect all women’s reproductive rights, specifically Black women, who will be impacted the most by this decision.

-- Gerald Griggs, Georgia NAACP President

“This morning the Supreme Court issued a ruling that stripped essential human rights from hundreds of millions of Americans. I join my Democratic congressional colleagues in anger, grief, and horror. As a husband, a father, and a grandfather, I hope and pray for a future where women’s access to education, employment, healthcare, and privacy are not curtailed by extremist policies set by an unelected few.”

-- U.S. Rep. David Scott, D-13

“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.”

-- State Sen. Jen Jordan, D-6, Democratic candidate for Attorney General

“This morning, the Supreme Court reversed over 50 years of judicial precedent and undermined the Constitutional right to privacy in order to eliminate a woman’s right to choose. This decision fundamentally undermines women’s autonomy to make decisions about their own bodies and healthcare.

These are personal healthcare choices and, ultimately, rest with a woman, her God, and her doctor. They should not be decided by politicians in 50 different state legislatures across the country. Even more so when Republican-controlled legislatures will now be looking to enact laws that encourage Americans to spy on their neighbors for a bounty, stalk women, criminalize doctors, and limit access to healthcare.

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

-- U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop, D-2

“This is the most damnable Supreme Court decision in my lifetime. For the first time in our nation’s history, the Supreme Court has snatched away a fundamental civil right. For half a century, the reproductive right has been a hallmark of gender equality in our nation. Women have now had that right ripped away by a callous and extreme, draconian Supreme Court. What civil right is next? Will it be the right to use contraceptives? Will it be marriage equality? Or will it be the civil and voting rights of Black and Brown people? Just how far backwards does this ultra-reactionary Court plan to take us? I am saddened for what has happened for our nation and the disregard that this activist court has for the women of America. However, from this despair must come action and I am also determined to redouble my commitment to codifying the right to an abortion.”

-- U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, D-4

“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.”

-- U.S. Sen. Jon Ossoff, D-Georgia