According to a new report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “all five Republican Senate candidates who attended the Atlanta Press Club debate said they backed a ‘total’ abortion ban that includes cases of incest and rape” — siding with frontrunner Herschel Walker, who was not in attendance, but “has taken a similar stance.”
The candidates’ responses came after a leaked report that the Supreme Court’s Republican appointees have voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, carrying out the next step in the Republicans’ years-long effort to end the right to abortion.
Despite Walker and his primary opponents’ hardline anti-abortion views, the implications of the leaked SCOTUS decision are deeply unpopular in Georgia, where nearly 70 percent of voters oppose overturning Roe v. Wade.
The Georiga GOP Senate field’s commitment to outlawing abortion raises the stakes for the 2022 midterms, especially given the recent report that Republicans — should they take back Congress in November — plan to push a national abortion-ban bill that would outlaw the practice before most people know they are pregnant.
Atlanta Journal-Constitution: A Senate GOP debate without Herschel Walker highlights new abortion clash
By: Greg Bluestein | May 03, 2022
- “A Republican debate for the U.S. Senate on Tuesday provided a striking example of how a draft ruling that would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion has upended campaign politics in Georgia.”
- “Five of the six Republican candidates competing to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Raphael Warnock invoked the yet-to-be-issued opinion published by Politico this week to lend urgency to their long-shot campaigns.”
- “And four of the five Republican Senate candidates who attended the Atlanta Press Club debate said they backed a ‘total’ abortion ban that includes cases of incest and rape.”
- “‘I will fight with every fiber of my life to make sure our young people, our unborn, are treated like human beings,’ said Kelvin King, the owner of a construction firm and military veteran.”
- Their staunch anti-abortion stances struck a sharp contrast with Warnock, who described himself Tuesday as a ‘pro-choice pastor’ who would fight to safeguard access to abortions.
- “The primacy of the abortion issue — one of the first and most frequent issues summoned by the debate’s panelists — illustrated the growing importance of the issue since the leak of the draft opinion that could overturn the 1973 landmark ruling.”
- “Missing from the stage was GOP front-runner Herschel Walker, a former football star who was instead hosting a fundraiser in east Georgia while his rivals mocked him as a coward for skipping the event. He also was a no-show at a previous debate, and his campaign taunted critics for “obsessing” over his absence.”
- “Saddler predicted it would also energize Republican voters, saying he was ‘encouraged by this potential ruling but concerned by the leak.’ He added that he feared the disclosure of the bench’s inner workings would ‘fundamentally change the operations of our highest court.’”
- “Walker, too, has taken a similar stance. He filled out a survey from the Georgia Life Alliance that supported outlawing abortion, including in instances of rape and incest, saying he’d back ‘legislation which protects the sanctity of human life, even if the legislation is not perfect.’”
Read the full report here.