AP NEWS

Stacey Abrams, rising Democratic star, hits Georgia’s ‘heartbeat’ abortion ban

March 11, 2019

Stacey Abrams, who delivered the Democrats’ State of the Union response last month, had strong words Monday for Georgia’s Republican-run legislature, which is on the verge of passing a so-called “heartbeat” abortion ban.

During an interview at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, Ms. Abrams expressed anger over the Georgia House of Representatives last week passing a bill that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected, typically at six weeks of pregnancy.

The legislation says “women cannot control their bodies six weeks into pregnancy,” Ms. Abrams told “PBS NewsHour” White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor.

The bill would allow abortion in the case of rape and incest, but only if the woman files a police report. It would allow an exception to the abortion ban if a pregnancy places a mother’s life at risk.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican who defeated Ms. Abrams in November’s election, pledged during his campaign to sign the “toughest abortion laws in the country” if elected. If the bill passes the Senate, he appears likely to sign it.

In her interview, Ms. Abrams cast doubt on the notion that debate and persuasion can win over political opponents.

“You’re not going to convince me that reproductive choice is wrong,” she said, adding that she also doubts she could explain to someone with “hard-core conservative beliefs” that they are wrong.