For Immediate Release: July 20, 2020
Today Georgia state Senator Nikema Williams, a tireless advocate for civil rights and reproductive freedom, was appointed to replace the late Congressman John Lewis on the November 3 general election ballot. Following the tragic passing of the longtime U.S. Representative and civil rights icon, Williams will now have the opportunity to represent Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District where she will continue to uphold the values of freedom, equality, and justice that Congressman Lewis embodied throughout his life.
NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia Director Laura Simmons issued the following statement in response:
“NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia congratulates state Senator Nikema Williams on this appointment, which could not be more well-deserved. Congressman Lewis was one of the most courageous, visionary leaders our nation has ever seen and we take comfort knowing that Senator Williams will continue to boldly march us toward justice. Sen. Williams is a devoted public servant and fierce advocate for reproductive freedom and for both the communities and values to which Congressman Lewis dedicated his life. Georgians are proud — and beyond fortunate — to have a leader like Sen. Williams to fill his mighty shoes.”
State Senator Williams has devoted her career to fighting for Georgians’ reproductive freedom. After serving as Vice President of Planned Parenthood Southeast for 15 years, she went on to win her current seat representing Georgia’s 39th Senate District. Williams was elected as Chair of the Georgia Democratic Party in 2019 and is the first Black woman to serve in this role.
As state Senator, Williams fought tirelessly to oppose HB 481, an extreme bill that attempted to outlaw abortion before many people even know they’re pregnant. While HB 481 was permanently enjoined by a federal judge last week, Georgia still has some of the most severe restrictions on abortion in the United States, including bans on abortion throughout pregnancy, forcing a woman to wait 24 hours before she can receive abortion care, and subjecting women to mandatory biased counseling.
NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters are dedicated to protecting and expanding reproductive freedom for all. For more than 50 years, NARAL has worked to guarantee that every woman has the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. Since 1969, NARAL has made history, grown to over 2.5 million members, and met the moments that have defined this fight with action, power and freedom. In recognition of its work defending our constitutional right to choose, Fortune Magazine described NARAL as “one of the top 10 advocacy groups in America.”