In an interview with NBC Nightly News Wednesday, Democratic candidate for Georgia Governor, Stacey Abrams, said abortion, gun violence and the economy are at the top of voters’ minds and could boost turnout in the major U.S. Senate race between Senator Reverend Raphael G. Warnock and Republican challenger Herschel J. Walker. 

“Georgia is essential. We know that Raphael Warnock is going to be essential to holding the Senate. We know that Sanford Bishop’s race down in the Second District can be part of the puzzle to holding the House,” Abrams said in an interview with NBC News correspondent Blayne Alexander.

Currently, Abrams is trailing incumbent Georgia governor Brian Kemp by an average of 6.6 points in the RealClearPolitics average of polls. 

Georgia’s six-week abortion ban, titled the Georgia’s Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, is currently the law of the state, effective immediately after the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision was handed down by the United States Supreme Court, and the federal right to abortion was no longer the law of the land. Georgia’s new abortion law bans most abortions the moment “a detectable human heartbeat” is present. 

Cardiac activity can be detected by ultrasound in cells within an embryo that will become the heart. That process could take place as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, before many pregnancies are detected.

Democratic candidate for Georgia Governor, Stacey Abrams, speaks out against the state’s new restrictive abortion laws during a press conference at the I.B.E.W. 613 on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. (Photo: Itoro N. Umontuen/The Atlanta Voice)

“We know that for women in particular, Georgia is going to be vital because every single state in the South has been on a rampage to make abortion difficult, if not impossible to get, and having me elected as governor can change the future for women in the state and in this region,” Abrams said.

Typically, the party in the White House would lose seats in midterm elections. However, with the paradigm shift that took place in June when Roe was no longer a federal right. Many Democratic candidates have decried the Republicans’ quest to repeal abortion rights at the state and possibly the federal level.

​​“[Georgia Secretary of State] Brad Raffensperger’s extremism doesn’t stop at curbing voting rights – he’s also staunchly anti-choice and has a disastrous record of attacking women’s reproductive rights. The more Georgians learn about Brad Raffensperger’s dangerous far-right agenda, the clearer it becomes that he’s too out of step with the overwhelming majority of Georgians,” said Georgia State Rep. Bee Nguyen, Democratic nominee for Georgia Secretary of State. 

Under the new Georgia law, a pregnant mother residing in the State of Georgia will now be able to seek child support from the father of her unborn child for up to the total cost of all direct medical and pregnancy related expenses. Once the child is born, Georgia’s child support law would take precedent.

Additionally, the new Georgia LIFE Act leaves the determination of the viability of a fetus to law enforcement and the Georgia State Government.

“The reason I talk about abortion rights is because women need to know I understand the biology that apparently the governor does not,” Abrams said. “That women are being told to make reproductive choices before they know they’re pregnant.”

Itoro Umontuen currently serves as Managing Editor of The Atlanta Voice. Upon his arrival to the historic publication, he served as their Director of Photography. As a mixed-media journalist, Umontuen...