COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision Friday to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision will throw the decision about how to legally deal with the abortion issue back into state legislatures.
In 2019, Georgia General Assembly approved a partial abortion. That law is being challenged in the federal courts, but today’s decision makes those challenges certain to be unsuccessful.
We talked to two Georgia state senators who will be dealing with the abortion issue in future sessions.
Here is what Columbus Democrat Ed Harbison had to say:
“It is going to be in the legislature. And, I feel, it’s coming down the pike that that is going to be dealt with in the upcoming General Assembly, if not sooner. … I am concerned that there really, really are a lot of women out there who may have situations, you are talking incest, rape, and all of those things. It’s just really disregarded. If we look at it in that context, there may be some that are palatable. But I’m not hopeful. I am not optimistic.”
Cataula Republican Randy Robertson sees it this way:
“It’s two ways. First of all, I welcome the fact that the Supreme Court realized that the federal government should never have taken up Roe v. Wade and made a decision that should have been left at the state level for those types of decisions. Second of all in reflection of that statement I just made, I am glad they are realizing that there are 50 independent, sovereign states in the United States of America that are more than capable of electing who the majority of our citizens want to serve them and are more than capable of making the vast majority of the decision that impact our day to day lives.”
This decision has far-reaching implications. To understand some of those implications, News 3 talked to two political scientists this afternoon — Dr. Andra Gillespie an Emory University professor with James Weldon Johnson Institute, study of race and difference. And Dr. Jacob Holt of Columbus State University.
Dr. Gillespie and Dr. Holt agree that this is heading back to local legislatures.
“The big question now about whether or not there should or will be a special session in the summer to try and tighten the abortion bill,” Gillespie said. “So, for instance, does Georgia move in the direction of, say, an Oklahoma and pass a more restrictive abortion bill. There would be some who would argue that it makes more sense now while Republicans have legislative majorities and while you know you are going to have a Republican governor in the state.”
Holt said you will see that movement throughout conservative states.
“You are going to see, definitely in Alabama and you might see in Georgia and definitely a lot of other states,” Holt said. “You are going to see a lot of state legislatures that are Republican-controlled, they are going to move quickly to pass new regulations – and in some cases pretty much bans on abortion.”
The Friday ruling was truly a landmark decision, Holt said.
“Basically, the court has said they got it wrong in the past, they shouldn’t have ruled that way,” Holt said. “And it’s not saying because they did not consider ‘X.’ They just said, ‘Nope, they go it wrong.’ And that’s very disturbing because that’s not how the legal system in the United States trditionally works.”
Gillespie told News 3 the decision would have an impact on low-income women and women of color.