On anniversary of Dobbs decision, Georgia leaders and reproductive health advocates go after Donald Trump

A group of current and former Georgia officials, community leaders and reproductive health advocates joined forces on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade to blame the move on President Donald Trump.

Roe v. Wade guaranteed a woman’s right to abortion, but the Dobbs decision in 2022 overturning Roe triggered a tsunami of legislation that followed blocking access to the procedure.

The Georgia group speaking out on the two-year anniversary included television host and writer Padma Lakshmi, former Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, in vitro fertilization advocate Latorya Beasley, state Rep. Shea Roberts, Dr. Shawana Moore and others.

They pointed to Trump repeatedly claiming victory for the high court’s reversal after he appointed three conservative Justices to the bench, delivering for anti-abortion activists a judicial makeup that would accomplish what they had for years sought: an end to federal abortion protections.

“I’ve been open about my own struggles with endometriosis, and had symptoms and debilitating pain, starting when I was 13, but I didn’t get diagnosed until I was 36,” Lakshmi explained, praising President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for “making women’s health research a top priority.”

“They’ve continuously defended our bodily autonomy, and they’ve shown that they will lead with the empathy and courage to make a difference in the lives of women,” Lakshmi added. “Donald Trump has no business being anywhere near the Oval Office — he never did — and has no business telling women what to do with their bodies.”

Speakers took turns offering praise for the Biden administration and condemnation to Trump, just days before the two men take the stage to debate ahead of a contentious 2024 Presidential Election.

Speakers delivered a number of statistics and talking points in support of a Biden re-election, and in a caution to what could happen under another Trump presidency.

More than 1 in 3 women of reproductive age live in states with abortion bans in place, the group said. Worse, they lamented fear among doctors that they could face jail time for providing reproductive health services, such as abortion care.

Two years ago, I watched as Trump-appointed Supreme Court Justices handed down their decision that stripped women of their fundamental right to choose,” Moore said.

“As a health care provider, I’ve seen how Trump’s restrictions and bans have disproportionately impacted communities like Black women and not only their personal health outcomes, but the health outcomes of their children as well as their families. There is no denying that changes to Georgia law, including the new six-week abortion ban — inspired by Donald Trump and his allies here in Georgia — prevent me from providing the best care possible to the patients I serve.”

The group also warns that another Trump White House could endanger women’s access to birth control or IVF.

“My husband and I are trying to grow our family and IVF is our best option to do that. Earlier this year, our access to IVF was put on hold because of the Alabama Supreme Court ruling,” Beasley said. “Donald Trump is responsible for this, and if he’s re-elected, he could endanger access to IVF for families across the entire country. Joe Biden is working to protect reproductive health care for all.”

Georgia has become a crucial state for presidential candidates on their path to the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency. The state narrowly elected Biden four years ago, an outcome that is at the center of one of four Trump indictments, this one over alleged election interference as he asked the state’s Secretary of State to “find” the votes needed for him to win the Peach State.

While Georgia went blue at the top of the ticket in 2020, the state remains steadfastly red, with a Republican Governor and Legislature that wasted no time in passing abortion restrictions following the Dobbs decision.

“Thanks to Trump, our state now has a near-total abortion ban and the procedure is outlawed before most women even know they are pregnant,” Roberts said. “When Trump’s Supreme Court Justices overturned Roe v. Wade, they stripped Georgia women of the right to make their own health care decisions.”

Shea went on to tell her own abortion story, an emotional opening up that has become common as elected leaders fight to restore or preserve abortion access.

“I was 37 years old when I made the extremely difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy for medical reasons,” she said. “It is absolutely devastating to think that the freedom to make these exact same health care decisions has been ripped away by Donald Trump.”

Janelle Irwin Taylor has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in Tampa Bay since 2003. In early 2022, she left the business to serve as Communications Director for St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch. After leaving the administration, Janelle briefly worked as a communications consultant for candidates, businesses and non-profits, before accepting her position as Publisher for Southeast Politics, a homecoming of sorts to her Florida Politics roots, where she served as a reporter and editor for several years. Janelle has also held roles covering the intersection of politics and business for the Tampa Bay Business Journal and general assignment news with an emphasis on social justice and climate change for WMNF Community Radio, where she also hosted a political call-in show under several names, including Last Call, Midpoint and The Scoop. Janelle has a lust for politics and policy. When she’s not bringing you the day’s news, you might find Janelle enjoying nature with her husband, children and two dogs. You can reach Janelle at [email protected]

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