For Immediate Release: August 7, 2020
State Senator Selected to Replace the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis on November Ballot Earns Endorsement from Nation’s Leading Pro-Choice Advocacy Group
NARAL Pro-Choice America today announced its endorsement of Georgia state Senator Nikema Williams in her bid to be elected U.S. Representative for Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District in November. Last month, Williams—a tireless advocate for civil rights and reproductive freedom who currently represents Georgia’s 39th Senate District —was selected to replace the late Congressman John Lewis on the November 3rd general election ballot.
“NARAL is proud to endorse Nikema Williams, who has devoted her career to championing reproductive freedom,” said NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue. “As the future of Roe v. Wade and the freedom to control our own futures hangs in the balance this November, it’s critical that we elect leaders who share our values and will fight for our ability to make personal decisions about pregnancy without interference from politicians. State Senator—and soon to be U.S. Representative—Williams is without a doubt that leader.”
“NARAL and our 46,000 members in Georgia could not be more excited by the prospect of state Senator Nikema Williams representing us in Congress,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia Director Laura Simmons. “While her vision, expertise, and leadership in the state Senate will be sorely missed, there is no better candidate to honor and continue Congressman Lewis’ legacy. NARAL has been honored to support Sen. Williams since her first bid for elected office, and we cannot wait for her to join the ranks of Congress where we know she will continue to make Georgians proud.”
“I have been speaking out and fighting for women and families my entire professional career. As the Vice President of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood Southeast, I fought to protect every woman’s right to make her own personal health care decisions,” said state Senator Nikema Williams. “As your Senator, I’ve fought to provide everyone with the tools and opportunity to thrive, not merely survive — and I will never stop fighting to protect our reproductive rights.”
Following the tragic passing of the longtime U.S. Representative and civil rights icon John Lewis, 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.
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 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 in opposition to 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 month, 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.”