Georgia Democratic nominee for governor Stacey Abrams said in an interview on MSNBC that "having children" is the reason citizens are worried about the price of gas and groceries, suggesting abortions could be a solution to high inflation:
Let's be clear. Having children is why you're worried about the price for gas. It's why you're concerned about how much food costs. For women, this is not a reductive issue. You can't divorce being forced to carry an unwanted pregnancy from the economic realities of having a child. So it's important for us to have both conversations. We don't have the luxury of reducing it or separating them out.
Abrams' controversial comment came after host Mike Barnicle asked her how she would alleviate Georgia voters' concerns about inflation, noting that abortion "nowhere reaches the level interest of voters" like the rising cost of living:
Right now we're walking away so often from the real issues that people care about. Abortion is an economic issue. It has been reduced to this idea of a culture war. But for women in Georgia, this is very much a question of whether they are going to end up in poverty in the next five years, because women who are forced to carry unwanted pregnancies... are four times more likely to be impoverished in five years.
Major concern in Georgia: inflation
Sixty-nine percent of Georgia voters rated cost of living and the economy as the most important issues in this year's elections, according to a poll conducted by The Atlanta Journal Constitution. Abrams joins the list of Democratic candidates attempting to divert voters' attention from inflation to abortion by using the repeal of Roe v. Wade to garner votes.
During her campaign, the candidate attacked the 'heartbeat' bill passed in Georgia that bans abortions once a heartbeat is detected (usually around six weeks). Last month, the Democrat claimed that a heartbeat heard at six weeks is "It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman's body."
According to the polling average, estimated by RealClearPolitics, Abrams trails Republican Governor Brian Kemp by 5.6 points in the race for the upcoming midterm elections.
The White House: No comment
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was questioned about Abrams' comment. Fox News reporter Peter Doocy noted that President Joe Biden has long endorsed Abrams and asked if he agreed with the candidate's views on how abortion restrictions are related to inflation.
Jean-Pierre evaded questions and refused to answer. She further stated that she had not heard of the viral incident.
"In Georgia, the president's endorsed candidate for governor, Stacey Abrams, is suggesting that one way to mitigate the effects of inflation is to get an abortion," Doocy said to the press secretary. "Does President Biden agree?"
"Uh, I did not see her comments on this, so I don't know the context of this. Again, I want to be careful. This is a political debate, and it is related to a midterm, an election… I'm not going to comment on that," Jean-Pierre responded.
Criticism of comments
Abrams' interview has been criticized from Republican ranks. Senator Ted Cruz said on Twitter the candidate's comments were "despicable."
I can't believe this needs to be said, but ending a human life is not the solution for inflation. https://t.co/Ign36R3GzU
- Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 19, 2022
Republican National Committee political director Elliot Echols also commented on the situation on Twitter:
Democrats' closing message to voters: We want to make sure you can have an abortion because we know you can't afford both a baby and gas right now.
What a sick, disgusting, argument. https://t.co/uchxGMcowB
- Elliott Echols (@elliott_echols) October 19, 2022