On the primary weekend after the Supreme Court overturned nearly five many years of constitutional abortion rights, Democrats seized on the ruling to portray their Republican opponents as threats to women and their health care providers, while two sitting G.O.P. governors welcomed the choice, as they tried to emphasise that the matter is a neighborhood issue with more “debate” available.
Stacey Abrams, the Democratic nominee for governor in Georgia who’s in a rematch with the Republican she narrowly lost to 4 years ago, told CNN’s “State of the Union,” that the general public should “take into very real consideration the danger Brian Kemp poses to the life and welfare of girls on this state.”
Ms. Abrams also told CNN that Mr. Kemp “intends to adds incest and rape as prohibitions.”
Tate Mitchell, a spokesman for Mr. Kemp, said in an announcement that Ms. Abrams “is lying” and that Mr. Kemp supported the state’s law that features exemptions for rape, incest, lifetime of the mother, and ectopic pregnancies.
Ms. Abrams also appeared on “Fox News Sunday,” and said, “We cannot cherry-pick once we listen to the lives and safety of girls.”
After noting Mr. Kemp refused to expand Medicaid in Georgia, Ms. Abrams said, “He has refused to support women at every stage of their lives after they try to make the very best decisions for themselves and their families.”
The CNN anchor Jake Tapper said Mr. Kemp had been invited to look on the show. Mr. Mitchell said Mr. Kemp was unable to look because he was on the Georgia Municipal Association conference in Savannah.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Democrat of Michigan, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” that state lawmakers had already introduced laws to “criminalize and throw nurses and doctors in jail” in the event that they perform abortions.
And legislators, she said, endorsed a 1931 law making abortions within the state a felony “as have the entire Republican people running for governor. They need abortion to be a felony: no exception for rape or incest. That’s the sort of Legislature that I’m working with. That’s the sort of matchup I’m going to have this fall.”
Republican governors on the Sunday shows, while welcoming the court’s ruling, repeatedly emphasized that the controversy and discussion around this issue will proceed, framing it as a matter of states’ rights.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that although the ruling was something the “pro-life movement worked for over 40 years” to realize, “we’ve got to recollect, this not a nationwide ban on abortion. Every state may have the flexibility to make its decisions.”
Later, Mr. Hutchinson tried to assuage concerns that other rights might be rolled back: “This is just not about contraception. This is just not about same-sex marriage: a really limited decision on this particular issue of abortion.”
And it’s “very essential at once to guarantee women that the access to contraception goes to give you the option to proceed.” Later, when asked if, as president, he would sign a national law outlawing abortion, Mr. Hutchinson, who’s considering a run in 2024, said no.
“I don’t consider that we ought to return to saying there should be a national law that’s passed. We fought for 50 years to have this return to the states. We’ve won that battle. It’s back to the states. Let’s let or not it’s resolved there.”
One other Republican, Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota, told ABC’s “This Week” that the Supreme Court ruling was “wonderful news,” and that her state would now ban abortions except to avoid wasting the lifetime of the mother. “But I anticipate there’ll be more debate and discussion” since the ruling “gave the authority back to the states to make these decisions.”
When asked what would occur if a South Dakota resident traveled to a different state to get an abortion, Ms. Noem replied, “That definitely isn’t addressed in our statute today and so I believe that’s things that there’ll be debate about but in addition, we’re having numerous debates in South Dakota.”