For Immediate Release: Thursday, January 7, 2021
Georgia — On Tuesday, voters in Georgia turned out in record numbers to elect NARAL-endorsed candidate Jon Ossoff, as well as Reverend Raphael Warnock, to the U.S. Senate. Ossoff’s victory over anti-choice, anti-freedom Sen. David Perdue marks a monumental win for reproductive freedom and secures Democratic control in the U.S. Senate.
Senators-elect Ossoff and Rev. Warnock, respectively, will be the first Jewish and Black U.S. Senators to represent Georgia. Ossoff’s historic victory coincided with a horrifying attack on our country and our democracy in the Nation’s Capital, as armed pro-Trump white supremacists stormed the U.S. Capitol and attempted to stage a coup and overturn the 2020 presidential election.
In response to Ossoff’s victory, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue released the following statement:
“Senator-elect Jon Ossoff’s victory over anti-choice, anti-freedom Senator David Perdue is the culmination of a years-long effort led by Georgia organizers to elect leaders who truly reflect their values. NARAL is proud to have endorsed Ossoff in this critical race, and our members are honored to have been part of such an incredible effort to flip the U.S. Senate. Voters rejected Perdue’s anti-choice, anti-freedom platform and his willingness to rubber-stamp Trump’s out-of-touch ideological agenda. Especially with so much at stake for our democracy and our rights, we are thrilled that Ossoff will serve in the Senate, where we know that he will be a true champion of our fundamental freedoms.”
NARAL Pro-Choice Georgia Director Laura Simmons said:
“NARAL and our more than 54,000 members across Georgia congratulate Senator-elect Jon Ossoff on his monumental victory. The people of Georgia have made our voices loud and clear: The days of Sen. Perdue putting his own personal gain over the health, wellbeing, and lives of his constituents are over. We are proud to have endorsed Jon Ossoff in this critical race and are grateful to our partners on the ground for their leadership and tireless efforts to flip Georgia blue.”
NARAL endorsed both Ossoff and Warnock as part of its largest-ever electoral program designed to hold senators like David Perdue 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 Ossoff 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.
During his time in the Senate, David Perdue supported extreme bills to ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood, earning him a 0% score from NARAL in the Congressional Record on Choice. Not only did Perdue vote to illegitimately confirm Amy Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court, he helped Trump stack the federal judiciary with dozens of judges hostile to Roe v. Wade.
The restrictions championed by Perdue 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 two 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.