In the race against incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams has made protecting abortion rights a central issue during her campaign.
In particular, Abrams has focused on a 2019 law signed by Kemp that bans most abortions when early cardiac activity is detected, which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy — when many women don’t yet know they’re pregnant.
After initially being blocked, the law went into effect earlier this year following the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade — a decision that has energized Democrats across the country, helping shift the midterm political landscape into more unsettled territory.
Abrams is testing how much the issue can shift things in her favor in a state President Joe Biden narrowly carried in 2020, but that has long voted Republican.
“Women deserve full citizenship in the United States and certainly in the state of Georgia, and they are being denied that because of Brian Kemp’s 6-week ban,” Abrams, who lost to Kemp by fewer than 2 points four years ago, told CNN in September.
She said she hears from outraged health care providers as she travels the state: “We are driving not only doctors and nurses out of the state, we’re likely going to drive jobs away. And that should be terrifying to anyone regardless of your political persuasion.”
Meanwhile, the Republican governor has stood by the law, which provides some exceptions, and has otherwise stayed focused on pocketbook issues.
“Rather than be sidetracked by the latest national media frenzy, he will continue to focus on bringing hardworking Georgians relief from 40-year-high inflation through tax relief and creating economic opportunities in every corner of the state,” Kemp campaign spokesman Tate Mitchell said in an emailed statement.
In a Fox News interview earlier this month, Abrams connected Kemp’s abortion position to his support for Herschel Walker, the Georgia Republican Senate nominee embroiled in controversy after multiple outlets reported he paid a woman to have an abortion.
“(Georgians) are watching their freedoms being stripped away and he calls it a personal choice for Herschel Walker, but not a personal choice for the millions of Georgia women who need access to abortion care,” Abrams said.
Abrams has said that she was “anti-abortion” until she went to college and met a friend who gave her a new perspective.
CNN’s Aaron Pellish contributed reporting to this post.