ATLANTA — Republican Attorney General Chris Carr told 11Alive News that it's "preposterous" to claim that pregnant women who induce abortions themselves could be prosecuted under the state's new restrictive abortion law.
The abortion issue has played a big role in the race for Georgia attorney general between Carr and Democrat Jen Jordan, an attorney and state senator.
The race for Georgia attorney general lacks the money and attention paid to the races for governor and US Senate. But polling has showed the issues in the AG race are among the most important to voters.
"The number one issue for government is to keep people feeling safe and protected," Carr said in an interview.
Carr and Jordan have divergent perspectives on the same issue.
"They don’t feel safe obviously because of gun violence, and they don’t feel safe going to their doctor’s office," Jordan said in an interview.
The Georgia Attorney General is the state’s chief law enforcement officer. Whoever is elected would handle legal issues surrounding the state’s restrictive heartbeat law – which outlaws abortion five or six weeks after conception, when a fetal heartbeat is detected by ultrasound.
Jordan says the law – which gives personhood status to fetuses – would make women vulnerable to prosecution.
"We’re not just talking about the criminal abortion statute. We’re talking about homicide, manslaughter, child abuse," Jordan said. "We’re talking about every single law in the Georgia code, because now an embryo has just as much rights as any woman does. And when you take that to its natural progression, yeah there are going to be women that are prosecuted."
Carr says the enforcement language in the heartbeat bill explicitly targets doctors and not women.
"There is absolutely nothing in the life act that suggests a pregnant woman is going to get prosecuted for anything. In fact, it’s about providers, not pregnant women," Carr said. "It’s preposterous for anyone to suggest that a pregnant woman would get prosecuted under this law. Just read it. Just read the law."
Jordan says the "personhood" language creates legal implications for pregnant women that aren't explicitly written into the law.
"That Carr is now trying to spin this law into something that it isn’t – that’s what’s preposterous," Jordan said.