For Immediate Release: Wednesday, January 6, 2021
Georgia — Voters in Georgia made history yesterday, turning out in record numbers to elect NARAL-endorsed candidate Reverend Raphael Warnock to the U.S. Senate. In unseating anti-choice, anti-freedom Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler, Rev. Warnock will be the first Black U.S. Senator to represent Georgia. His victory over Loeffler marks a monumental win for reproductive freedom and flips a critical seat in the Senate.
In response to Rev. Warnock’s historic victory, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement:
“This day is long overdue. Senator-elect Raphael Warnock is exactly the kind of leader we need in Congress to restore empathy and advance freedom and justice. His victory represents both a historic moment and a new day for democracy in Georgia and in this country. Our hats are off to the tireless leadership and activism of so many on the ground—especially the communities of color that have led the way. NARAL members are thrilled to be a part of such an incredible movement to win this seat and elect Georgia’s first Black U.S. Senator. There’s no doubt that Rev. Warnock’s proud embrace of reproductive freedom was a galvanizing force in a state that has been roiled by abortion bans and anti-choice extremism. We are thrilled that the Senate will now have another champion for women and families added to its ranks, and we look forward to working with him in the days ahead.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia Director Laura Simmons said:
“NARAL and our more than 54,000 members across Georgia congratulate Senator-elect Raphael Warnock on his outstanding victory. We are proud to have endorsed Rev. Warnock in this critical race and to have supported the on-the-ground efforts that have led to this historic moment. We are also grateful to Georgia’s communities of color—especially Black-led organizations—who have spent years laying the groundwork to ensure Georgians’ voices were heard in the runoff elections.”
NARAL endorsed Rev. Warnock as part of its largest-ever electoral program designed to hold senators like Kelly Loeffler accountable for rubber-stamping Donald Trump’s extreme ideological agenda. NARAL reached over 3 million voters in key states, including Georgia, through its historic 2020 electoral program.
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 working alongside other in-state groups to lay the foundation to help flip Georgia blue, mobilizing tens of thousands of voters to turn out for candidates like Rev. Warnock, who champion reproductive freedom and gender equality.
NARAL invested seven figures in a comprehensive program to reach hundreds of thousands of voters across Georgia in this election cycle. The program included 316,690 peer-to-peer texts, a robust direct mail program with candidate-specific mail pieces to reach 242,010 voters, influencer amplification, digital ads generating 13,483,532 impressions, and two radio ad campaigns in partnership with Higher Heights Political Fund.
In the two months between the Nov. 3 general election and the Jan. 5 runoffs, NARAL and its volunteer leaders held 20 voter mobilization events, made more than 164,000 calls, sent nearly 100,000 texts, and emailed more than 20,000 Georgia voters. NARAL also partnered with Higher Heights for America, Fair Fight, and Planned Parenthood Action Fund (PPAF) to host a number of events, including a panel conversation with Stacey Abrams, PPAF President Alexis McGill Johnson, and NARAL President Ilyse Hogue. The panel centered on the issues that drove this election: the Black maternal mortality crisis, healthcare disparities, and the need for comprehensive, affordable healthcare, including sexual and reproductive healthcare.
Kelly Loeffler was appointed to former Senator Johnny Isakson’s seat by anti-choice, anti-freedom Governor Brian Kemp (R-GA). The very first bill Loeffler introduced as lead sponsor was an extreme measure designed to shame women and push abortion care out of reach for as many people as possible.
The restrictions championed by Loeffler 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. With Roe v. Wade on the line like never before, the stakes of the runoff elections were high for women in Georgia, over half of whom live in counties with no abortion clinic.
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.