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What local reaction is to Supreme Court’s overturning Roe v. Wade
06242022 Abortion
A celebration outside the Supreme Court, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Washington. The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years — a decision by its conservative majority to overturn the court's landmark abortion cases. - photo by Steve Helber | Associated Press

Emotions ran high Friday, June 24, as the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion.

“We’re just taking the day to praise God and celebrate this,” said Lee Koz, executive director of Choices Pregnancy Care Centers, a crisis pregnancy and anti-abortion center in Gainesville.

“I think this is going to go a long way in helping the people of this country see that these babies inside of the mothers are just as much of a person as they are outside of the mothers.”

Mike Ford, chair of the Hall County Democratic Party and a candidate for the 9th Congressional District, said he believes justices have “destroyed a constitutional right established 49 years ago — this even though neither the Old Testament nor the new one says one word about abortion, this even though abortions can save the life of a woman … and are 12 times safer than childbirth.

“It seems to me this decision returns control over women’s bodies to old white men. Watch and see.”

U.S. Rep. Andrew Clyde, R-Athens, who represents the 9th District, said in a statement he applauded the Supreme Court for “rightfully repealing” Roe v. Wade.

“Today’s decision marks a major victory in the fight to protect the first and most fundamental unalienable right — the right to life,” he said. “I look forward to pro-life states, including my home state of Georgia, valuing life at all stages and enacting legislation to defend the unborn.”

The court’s decision doesn’t outlaw abortion outright. Instead, it hands the decision over to the states.

The ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

“Today’s landmark ruling is a historic victory for life,” Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said on Twitter

He said he hopes it will allow the state to move forward on the “heartbeat bill,” HB 481, which has been blocked by a federal court injunction.

Under HB 481, women in Georgia would legally be able to receive later abortions in situations involving rape or incest when the woman has filed a police report, if the mother’s life is in danger or when a fetus would be unable to live after birth. Parents would also have the right to claim an embryo on their taxes as dependents once the heartbeat is detected.

“Working closely with the General Assembly, we have made significant strides to stand for life at all stages … and will continue that important work in the days and months to come,” Kemp said.

State Rep. Emory Dunahoo, R-Gillsville, said he expects the legislature to take up the issue when it reconvenes in January.

Asked whether he believes an outright ban could happen, he said, “With the leadership we have now in the House, I think the speaker will try to have carve-outs somewhere here and there. Me? I’m 100% pro-life.”