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Georgia Democrats blast Supreme Court over Roe v. Wade draft opinion

Democratic women fight for abortion rights
Published: May. 9, 2022 at 6:30 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Members of the Georgia House Democratic Caucus held news conference Monday morning to speak out against the potential reversal of Roe v. Wade following the leaked Supreme Court draft majority opinion. Women lawmakers took the lead in the press conference with the male lawmakers standing in solidarity.

In a news release, the caucus said it will also discuss the “urgent need to defend the right to an abortion in Georgia.”

If the justices indeed overturn Roe v. Wade, the states would then be tasked with making laws regarding abortion for their residents. Georgia’s “Heartbeat law,” which is currently in a federal appeals court, would take effect, prohibiting most abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, typically in the sixth week of pregnancy.

The Georgia House Democrats say Georiga is a state where women’s healthcare is already lacking and that reversing abortion rights will have uniquely detrimental results.

“We know that there are 79 counties with no OBGYN in Georgia. We know that there are so many hospital systems that have closed,” said Rep. Park Cannon, D-Atlanta.

Rep. Cannon and Rep Shea Roberts are two of the women lawmakers sharing their stories of having abortions. Roberts says her fetus was diagnosed with a severe condition and doctors told her and her husband, their baby would not live.

“Essentially, my pregnancy would end with the death of my child either stillbirth or my baby living a very painful short life only minutes outside of my womb. We were stunned,” Roberts detailed. She says abortion was a devastating but necessary reality for her health. “I am sharing my story, because I need the brazen politicians, including my Republican colleagues under this gold dome, to know that their actions will kill people just like me,” Roberts added.

This side of the debate comes after state Republicans spoke out Friday in support of Georgia’s heartbeat law which bans abortion after 6 weeks. “Y’all, this passed by one vote. It was an honor to be in the committee to fight for it,” one Republican announced. The conservative have expressed staunch support for the reversal of Roe v Wade believing all lives from conception should be spared.

Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver says she is concerned about rumors that Governor Brian Kemp will call a special legislative session this summer or fall to draft more strict abortion bans if Roe v. Wade is overturned and sends the decisions back into the hands of state lawmakers.

Kemp’s office did not confirm the concern, but sent CBS46 this statement: “Governor Kemp has been and remains focused on defending Georgia’s strong pro-life legislation -- the strongest in state history -- against legal challenges, and he is committed to keeping Georgia a state that values life at all stages.”

WATCH THE FULL NEWS CONFERENCE HERE: