Abortion Is Already Animating the Senate Race in Georgia

ATLANTA — Democrats are painting a future with limited abortion access as a Republican-manufactured problem, underlined by the Senate’s failure to advance a bill to codify the terms of Roe v. Wade.

Georgia Republicans have made the issue their latest line of attack, focusing their fire on freshman Senator Raphael D. Warnock, a Democrat and self-proclaimed “pro-choice pastor.”

Legislation that would outlaw abortion after six weeks of pregnancy is almost certain to become law in Georgia if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Mr. Warnock joined his party’s push against abortion restrictions, voting on Wednesday to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would have preserved abortion access nationwide. But he is one of the most vulnerable Democrats in upcoming midterm elections, and the Georgia G.O.P. has already seized on his support for the bill, aiming to bolster the argument that he is a “radical” politician who is out of touch with moderate Georgia voters.

Republican National Committee spokesman Garrison Douglas called the senator’s vote “disgusting,” adding, “Raphael Warnock’s vote today proves that there is no limit to how far he will go to support Joe Biden and Chuck Schumer’s radical agenda.”

The anti-abortion group Susan B. Anthony List also issued a statement attacking the senator, calling him “an extremist.”

“Our field team is visiting hundreds of thousands of Georgia voters to educate them about Warnock’s record and ensure he is held accountable on election night,” the group’s president, Marjorie Dannenfelser, said in the statement.

Mr. Warnock has made his support for abortion access clear since his first campaign, saying that he believes that abortion is a decision a mother and doctor should make. Conservatives in Georgia and beyond have condemned his position, saying he cannot be in favor of abortion and also claim to be a religious leader as senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church. In 2020, more than two dozen church leaders in the state, a majority of whom were also Black, issued a public statement condemning his stance and asking him to reconsider.

The G.O.P. front-runner for Senate, former University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker, has taken a staunchly anti-abortion stance, saying he believes the procedure should be illegal even in cases of rape or incest. In a survey that he filled out for the anti-abortion group Georgia Life Alliance, he said he would “vote for any legislation which protects the sanctity of human life, even if it is not perfect.”

State Democrats have amplified Mr. Walker’s stance and that of Republicans up and down the G.O.P. ticket ahead of the May 24 primary elections, saying their anti-abortion rhetoric will only alienate Georgia voters. A poll conducted in January by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution found that more than two-thirds of Georgians support abortion access.

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