Stacey Abrams, the Georgia Democrat running a campaign centered on abortion access to unseat Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R), on Sunday said she was “anti-abortion” until she went to college.
Abrams told CNN’s “State of the Union” her Christian faith and upbringing factored heavily into how she saw the issue growing up.
“I have thought about my faith a great deal. In fact, I was anti-abortion until I went to college,” Abrams told CNN’s Dana Bash. “And, there, I met a friend who has my shared faith values, but we started having conversations about what reproductive care and abortion care really is. And when I talk about that, it was an experience that I had because she was able to give me a different perspective.”
Abrams added that she has reflected on the role of government in health care decisions.
“Over the course of the next few years, I really started thinking about, what role should the legislature play? What role should government play? This is health care. This is about a woman’s right to control her body. This is about a woman’s right to experience and determine her future. And that, for me, as my ― as a matter of faith — means that I don’t impose those value systems on others,” Abrams continued.
Georgia currently has a “heartbeat law,” mandating that women cannot access abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. This happens at around six weeks, when many people don’t know they are pregnant. The measure, passed in 2019, was later struck down by a federal judge as unconstitutional. In July, after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a federal appeals court said the restrictive law could take immediate effect.
While Abrams has pledged to make abortions “safe” and “legal” in the state, her power might be limited as governor. Abrams would have to work with the Republican-controlled legislature to make changes.
Abrams said a win by her would represent a “sea change” and promised to make legislators understand the detrimental impact the abortion law has on Georgians.
She continued: “I understand how to negotiate and how to navigate. But what I understand is that the majority of Georgians do not like this law. It is an extreme ban. It is dangerous, and it affects women across the spectrum.”
Abrams was narrowly defeated by Kemp in 2018 and this year’s race is seen as a rematch.
Georgia’s restrictive abortion law also gives fetuses “personhood.” As a result, the Georgia Department of Revenue said residents may claim an unborn fetus as a dependent on their state tax forms.
During the interview, Abrams also weighed in on Biden’s 2024 prospects. Several Democrats have made headlines recently for equivocating in their support of the president pursuing another term.
“If he chooses to run again, I’m there to support him,” Abrams said.
Abrams was floated as a potential selection for Biden’s vice president in 2020.