For Immediate Release: Thursday, November 19, 2020
Georgia — This month, voters in Georgia made history by turning out in record numbers to boost President-elect Joe Biden to victory in the state, marking the first time in nearly 30 years that a majority of Georgians voted for a Democratic presidential ticket. Biden has defeated Donald Trump by more than 12,000 votes statewide and has officially earned more votes than any Democratic candidate in Georgia’s history.
Listening to leaders like Stacey Abrams and recognizing the power and necessity of real on-the-ground investments, NARAL Pro-Choice America launched its Georgia chapter in 2017 to help build the progressive momentum and infrastructure necessary to make Georgia a key battleground state. NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia has spent the last three years laying the foundation to help flip Georgia blue, mobilizing tens of thousands of voters to turn out for candidates like Biden who support reproductive freedom and gender equality.
In response to this historic outcome, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement:
“The election of President-elect Joe Biden marks a tremendous win for the majority of Georgians who support the freedom to make their own decisions about their lives, bodies, and futures. This historic moment is the product of years-long efforts led by those most affected by anti-choice, anti-freedom Republicans’ efforts to undermine our fundamental rights, including people of color working on the ground to ensure that Georgians are represented by leaders who share their values. NARAL is committed to doing whatever it takes to elect Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff in the upcoming runoff elections for control of the U.S. Senate. With reproductive freedom on the line like never before, today we’re celebrating the fact that change is no longer on the horizon in Georgia—it has arrived.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia Director Laura Simmons said:
“NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia and our more than 54,000 members across the state are proud to have supported the work on the ground toward this historic moment, and we congratulate President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris on this monumental achievement. Without a doubt, this victory was led by Georgia’s communities of color, especially Black-led organizations, that have spent years fighting to ensure Georgians’ voices were heard in this election, registering hundreds of thousands of new voters, providing strategy and leadership, and combating Republicans’ rampant efforts to suppress the vote. For years, Georgia has been on the precipice of change, and this month, voters turned out to reclaim our state once and for all. This recount solidified what voters made clear on Nov. 3rd: The days of our nation being led by an anti-choice, anti-freedom Republican ideologue are over.”
In the three years leading up to 2020, NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia made strategic investments toward building the grassroots and political capital necessary to protect and expand reproductive freedom, not just for Georgians, but for every body in the region who relies on Georgia’s providers for abortion care.
NARAL identified DeKalb, Fulton, Cobb, Clarke, Henry, and Gwinnett as the counties with the greatest opportunities, and doubled down on efforts to expand membership and mobilize voters in support of pro-choice candidates up and down the ballot. As vote counts came in throughout last week, it became clear the critical role those counties would play in the outcome of the election.
NARAL was also one of the first national organizations to endorse Stacey Abrams in her 2017 bid for governor, recognizing her leadership as essential to the fight for progress in Georgia and in the South. Following Georgia’s 2018 gubernatorial election, NARAL continued to support Abrams’ democracy efforts through its partnership with Fair Fight, one of the groups responsible for registering hundreds of thousands of new voters in the last two years.
NARAL invested seven figures in a comprehensive program to reach hundreds of thousands of voters across Georgia, as part of its historic 2020 electoral program that reached over 3 million voters in key states. The program included 316,690 peer-to-peer texts, a robust direct mail program with candidate-specific mail pieces to reach 242,010 voters—including targeted mail in 19 state House districts—influencer amplification, digital ads generating 13,483,532 impressions, and two radio ad campaigns in partnership with Higher Heights Political Fund. NARAL’s ads shined a light on the egregious violations of human rights and reproductive freedom at an ICE detention center and sent an empowering message to turn out the vote among women voters in Georgia, including Black women who power the Democratic base.
Key to NARAL’s 2020 strategy was activating its more than 54,000 members statewide to reach, educate, and mobilize persuadable women voters, and low-propensity, pro-choice voters who felt betrayed by HB 481—the extreme and unconstitutional ban on abortion that narrowly passed in 2019 and was struck down by a federal judge earlier this year. If not blocked by the courts, the law would have banned abortion before many people even know they’re pregnant, and could have led to women being investigated for a miscarriage and doctors being thrown in jail.
Georgia already has some of the most severe restrictions on reproductive freedom in the United States, including bans on abortion throughout pregnancy, a forced 24-hour waiting period before somebody can receive abortion care, and mandatory biased counseling restrictions. These restrictions disproportionately harm BIPOC, low-income, and rural communities, and are part of a coordinated effort by the Radical Right to maintain white patriarchal control at all costs.
A recent Change Research poll found that a vast majority (78%) of suburban women in Georgia oppose making abortion illegal and turning back the clock to the days before Roe vs. Wade. With Roe in the crosshairs, the stakes are high for women in Georgia, over half of whom live in counties with no abortion clinic.
Read more about NARAL’s endorsed candidates here.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America and its network of state affiliates and chapters have fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom—including access to abortion, contraception, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 7 in 10 Americans who believe every person should have the freedom to make the best decision for themselves about if, when, and how to raise a family.