SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Georgia lawmakers reacted to the U.S Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe versus Wade Friday as dozens of protesters took to Johnson Square in Savannah.
“This is a striking reversal of constitutional precedent and a very core right of women to make their own reproductive choices has been taken away,” said Senator Raphael Warnock.
The decision pushes control of abortion back to the states. In Georgia, the ‘Heartbeat bill’ passed in 2019 which bans abortion after six weeks. That has been tied up in court but now that Roe has been overturned, republican state lawmakers who voted for the Heartbeat bill expect it will be implemented and perhaps soon.
Rep. Ron Stephens, a republican from Savannah told us that “we believe this is a good bill and allows some exceptions and that it’s essentially law in Georgia.
Democratic candidate for governor, Stacey Abrams bashed the state bill saying the issue is not solely about reproductive rights but women’s healthcare.
“We know that bill passed by one vote and that was a bill I think passed in part because nobody thought it would actually become law in the state of Georgia. We live in a state where half of our counties do not have OBGYN’s,” said Abrams.
“Here in Georgia, we already have some very extreme uncompromising language on reproductive choice. And the Supreme Court has piled on this morning,” said Warnock. “This is a watershed moment and we have got to redouble our efforts to protect their own healthcare decisions.”
While Warnock vows to fight on, the Supreme Court decision doesn’t seem to leave much room for abortion rights advocates.
Warnock’s Republican opponent for U.S. Senate Herschel Walker said, “the Supreme Court’s decision sends abortion back to the state where it belongs.”
Republican Representative Buddy Carter who represents the 1st district issued a statement saying in part that “Life wins! Millions of children have been silent victims of a decades long siege on their right to life.”
The Heartbeat bill has been tied up in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals since its passage. There’s word that Governor Brian Kemp has already requested information from Attorney General Chris Carr on how it might now be implemented now that Roe v Wade is dead.