MARTHA MACCALLUM, FOX NEWS ANCHOR: I’m Martha MacCallum.
In the biggest week in Supreme Court history in decades, the court overturns Roe versus Wade, setting decisions on life back to the states where voters can decide. With it, an already divided nation has a new firestorm and a new issue likely to shift the political landscape.
MACCALLUM (voice-over): Fifty years of precedent undone. Demonstrators take to the streets, some elated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I think it’s a celebration not only for children in the womb, but also for women.
MACCALLUM: Others infuriated.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We stand up and fight back.
REP. ELISE STEFANIK (R-NY): Victory for the sanctity of life. It will save countless innocent children.
REP. JAMIE RASKIN (D-MD): One incursion into the liberties and rights of the people will lead to the next and will lead to the next.
MACCALLUM: Now, President Biden is vowing swift action and calling for calm.
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Keep all protests peaceful.
MACCALLUM: We’ll discuss how the ruling will affect state law across the country and what it means for the Roberts court going forward.
And talk with Republican Senator Lindsey Graham about the court’s moves on abortion, as well as Second Amendment rights and about his long fight to put conservative judges on the bench.
Plus, how it all plays in the coming election. We will ask Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams how the ruling could impact her rematch against Republican Governor Brian Kemp.
Then, we’ll ask our Sunday panel how a series of high stakes court rulings could shake up the 2022 election.
All, right now, on “FOX News Sunday”.
MACCALLUM (on camera): And hello again from FOX News in Washington.
As the Supreme Court’s monumental decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sinks in across the country, there’s jubilation from those who never thought they would see this day and outrage from those who thought they would never witness this reversal. And some clinics close their doors and emotions spill into destruction and tear gas.
(VIDEO CLIP PLAYS)
MACCALLUM: Around 25 people arrested.
In Washington, thoughts turn, though, to the midterms. The political impact and calls now for Congress to act on their own.
But decision is just one of the huge signs that the three justices nominated by then President Trump are having an enormous effect on places like guns and school choice as well. This as Congress pulls off a bipartisan gun bill. President Biden signing that into law yesterday.
In a moment, we will break down the Supreme Court ruling with FOX News legal correspondent Shannon Bream. But, first — and we’ll also get reaction, I should say, from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of the Judiciary Committee and from Democrat Stacey Abrams who’s running for governor in Georgia.
But, first, we turn to Alexandria Hoff who is live at the Supreme Court this morning, where protesters are likely to be gathering later this morning.
Good morning, Alex.
ALEXANDRIA HOFF, FOX NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, Martha.
Yeah. All is quiet but we do expect crowds to return at some point this afternoon for what will be the third day in a row.
HOFF (voice-over): The reaction from pro-life groups was instantaneous and joyous. Moments after the wait of what s lost for abortion advocates hit. Forty-nine years, five months and two days after the Roe v. Wade decision was handed down, it was undone, along with Planned Parenthood v. Casey, removing the federal constitutional right to an abortion.
The majority opinion authored by Justice Samuel Alito reads: We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.
In a dissenting opinion, Justices Breyer, Kagan and Sotomayor wrote: In overruling Roe and Casey, this court betrays its guarding principles. The ruling transfers power over abortion policy to the states, 22 of which have either already or likely to ban abortion. Four more have pending legislation.
GOVERNOR KEVIN STITT (R), OKLAHOMA: It is my hope that the rest of America will follow Oklahoma’s lead.
HOFF: Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin also announced Friday that he will pursue a 15-week ban. But in Washington, D.C., plus at least 16 other states, there will be no reduction in abortion action.
According to the pro-abortion rights research group, the Guttmacher Institute, 11 Democratic-led legislatures moved to expand access in anticipation of the ruling and invitations have been extended.
GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL (D), NEW YORK: You come to New York so our providers will take care of you.
HOFF: President Biden vowed to stand by the Department of Justice and guaranteeing a woman’s right to travel for an abortion and made a plea Friday for the issue to become the cornerstone of the midterm elections.
BIDEN: We need to restore the protections of Roe as law of the land. We need to elect officials who will do that. This fall, Roe is on the ballot.
REP. MAYRA FLORES (R-TX): I woke up this morning praying for this and I never thought that it would happen.
HOFF: While Republican lawmakers celebrated the ruling, many Democrats took on a tone of mourning.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER (D-NY): Today is one of the darkest days our country has ever seen.
HOFF: Some taking to the streets to join protesters.
REP. ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ (D-NY): We heave to fill the streets. Right now, elections are not enough.
HOFF: On Friday, protesters gathered in front of the home of conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.
Earlier this month, Congress passed a bill expanding 24-hour protection of justices to include their families.
HOFF (on camera): Now, protests out here have remained peaceful. Yesterday two people were taken into custody though after they appeared to pour red paint beyond the security gate behind me. They have so far cleaned it up — Martha.
MACCALLUM: Alex, thank you very much. Alex Hoff, reporting from the Supreme Court.
Joining me now, FOX News legal correspondent Shannon Bream.
Shannon, great to have you with us this morning.
Obviously, we’re continuing to get — she’s our senior legal correspondent, I should point out, as you well know and watched her throughout the week.
So, tell us a little bit about the latest that the impact of this across the states, Shannon.
SHANNON BREAM, FOX NEWS SENIOR LEGAL CORRESPONDENT: So, Alex did such a good job in touching on this. There were trigger laws that actually go in both directions to states across the country. There are those that are tightening down on restrictions, making it nearly impossible to get an abortion in their particular state.
But there are others that did expand in anticipation of what may happen in Roe being overturned. And we had Governor Polis from Colorado on “FOX News Sunday” a few weeks ago and I really pressed him on how far the law goes. And he couldn’t give me any limitation up to and through the ninth month of pregnancy.
There are number of places where that will be true across the country. So, it will be about people choosing to go those states, if that’s what they choose.
But keep in mind that — with these trigger laws that go in the other direction that say there is no ability to get an abortion or after 6 weeks, 12, 15, whatever it is. The penalties in those laws, nearly every one I reviewed, the penalties are never for the woman. It is always for the doctor or the medical personnel who help her to try to obtain an abortion, or actually obtained an abortion. A number of states have made it clear they don’t want the women themselves to be subject to any criminal penalties, Martha.
MACCALLUM: But, Shannon, one of the things that you hear is that it will fall on — the burden will fall on poor women who cannot travel, who cannot get access, who can’t leave their state. What is the remedy for that? Is there an accurate remedy for that?
BREAM: Yeah. We’ve heard a number of states step up and say, we’re going to make sure we provide options so that our state, which is very liberal with their policy, will be an open door for women who need to travel. You heard Governor Hochul in New York say we’re putting $ 35 million towards this, $ 25 million of that is to beef up our clinics, our personnel to make sure they are able to ramp up their ability to see patients. Also interestingly enough, $ 10 million of that money in New York is going to go to clinic safety for abortion providers.
There’s nothing in that conversation about security provisions for crisis pregnancy centers who don’t offer abortions but offer other options. There are private groups raising money saying, you know, if you are angry about this decision, donate here and we’ll make sure that we share this money with women who need to tap into our funds.
And, you know, a number of private employers as well have a — we’ve got a growing list that we’re keeping track of there at FOX have said we will pay as an employee benefit for people to travel. For example, Dick’s sporting goods had said we will pay up to $ 4,000 per employee to reimburse them for travel expenses if they have to go out of state.
So, Martha, a lot of public and private money stepping up to address that particular question.
MACCALLUM: Yeah. You know, I’m just thinking of something that I heard a lot of over the course of this. And I don’t know if there’s an answer to it yet, Shannon. But, you know, with regard to mailing prescription abortion pills across state lines. Do we know whether or not there will be restrictions on that?
BREAM: Yeah, some states have gotten very specific. They’ve gone that far. They’ve talked about not only the in-person physical abortions that you would under go as a medical procedure, but all the pharmaceuticals that you could order.
And this is something that the Biden administration has talked about, too, that they want to make sure it can cross state lines. That’s going to be the next phase I think of weeding through this, to see what the different states have done and how that will work across state lines.
MACCALLUM: So, with regard to the other laws out there — same sex marriage, the use of contraception. I’m going to talk a little more about this with Senator Graham in a moment.
But what is your take when you read the opinion on whether or not overturning those is possible?
BREAM: Not on the basis of the reasoning in this case. And Justice Alito was very clear. He said, I don’t know how I could be more clear. We are distinguishing away the issue of same sex marriage, of contraception, of other issues of sexuality this court has weighed in on.
Nothing, he said, nothing in this opinion could be used, none of this reasoning for anything but abortion. He says, we differentiated as a different kind of right, just as Roe and Casey did, because they will look at it as involving, quote, potential life. So, he said, none of this reasoning could apply to those.
Now, what’s getting attention is Justice Thomas’ concurrence where he says, that’s true. I agree with the majority in this. He signed on to the majority. Nothing in this opinion goes to those topics. But then he has an added line because he says, when it comes to issues of substantive due process, other cases like the contraceptive, the same sex marriage cases, we may need to re-examine those at the future — in the future at some point.
But he’s saying nothing in this case gets us to that conversation.
MACCALLUM: Okay. More on that to come.
Shannon, thank you very much. Shannon Bream joining us this morning.
Joining us now is Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, member, of course, of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Senator, welcome back to “FOX News Sunday”. It’s good to have you here.
SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM (R-SC): Thanks for having me.
MACCALLUM: I want to start with this. This is the language from Justice Alito, who wrote this opinion.
He said: We therefore hold that the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives.
That was called by one columnist the greatest victory in the history of the conservative movement. It’s certainly something that you have worked for, for a very long time, Senator.
GRAHAM: Yeah. Well, what it does, it takes us back to before 1973.
Before 1973, the law of the land was that each state can decide the issue of life when life begins, whether or not to have an abortion, what circumstances around having an abortion. All of us in the conservative world have believed that there’s nothing in the Constitution giving the federal government the right to regulate abortion. There’s nothing in the Constitution that creates a right to abortion as a constitutional principle.
This was judged (ph), made out of cloth law. Now, what this court has done is taken us back to pre-1973 where each state can decide through their elected officials when life begins and how to treat — treat life. And this is a huge victory for the pro-life movement.
President Trump deserves a lion share of credit here. He fought like a tiger to put three constitutional conservative judges on the court. He stood behind Kavanaugh.
And all of us who’ve been working for the last 50 years to get this right, to have a constitutional reset, Friday was a glorious day.
MACCALLUM: Yeah, I think of you fighting like a tiger, as you say, over Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination process, which you thought had gone to, you know, I think you used the word disgusting —
MACCALLUM: — places in terms of what happened there.
So, what’s it like for you personally, Senator, as you look at this? And we — I think we have a video of you giving that speech. You sort of grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat.
GRAHAM: Well, it’s satisfying to know that through the constitutional process, you can make a difference.
You know, when Roe came out, we didn’t burn down the Capitol, as conservatives. We didn’t go to liberal justices’ homes and try to intimidate them.
The radical left are constitutional anarchists. They are literally trying to change the country from top to bottom. They want to pack the court because they don’t like this decision. They want to abolish the Electoral College so California and New York can pick the president in perpetuity.
At the end of the day, they want to federalize elections, take it away from the states, to make sure you have ballot harvesting and do away voter IDs.
So, these constitutional anarchist — here’s my advice to you. Quite trying to burn down America and work like we did in the fields. Elect people who agree with you at the ballot box.
Your next guest, one of your next guests is from Georgia. I’m dying to say what she will say about how she would handle as governor any effort to regulate abortion in her state.
This was won through the ballot box by conservatives and we’re not going to liberals intimidate the rule of law system to take it away from us.
MACCALLUM: Well, it certainly has lit a fire under politicians on Capitol Hill, and they’re going to use this as an opportunity in the midterms.
Here’s Nancy Pelosi talking about how she viewed that decision on Friday. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE: A woman’s right to choose, reproductive freedom, is on the ballot in November. We cannot allow them to take charge so that they can institute their goal, which is to criminalize reproductive freedom, to criminalize it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: To criminalize reproductive freedom.
You’ve got very tight Senate races in Arizona, Nevada, Georgia, New Hampshire, Senator, and this will be, no doubt, a powerful line of debate.
GRAHAM: Yeah. This will be one of the issues we talk about when we elect senators and House members and members of the state houses and governors. But it’s not going to change the 2022 outcome.
Most Americans believe that — I really do believe most Americans are comfortable with elected officials making decision about life. Let every state do it the way they would like.
What’s going to be on the ballot box is $ 5 gas. You can’t walk down the street without being attacked. Crime is rampant. We have broken borders.
But, yeah, this is a — this is a big day for the pro-life movement. For all of you — I wish Henry Hyde were alive so he could see this. For all of you who have been working for 50 years to elect members of the House and Senate and presidents that would put constitutional conservatives on the court, your day finally arrived.
And to the left, the way you do this, is to do what we did. You take to it the ballot box. You don’t try to destroy America.
These constitutional anarchists like AOC have to be dealt with. And there will be a backlash against this effort to intimidate our judges.
MACCALLUM: I want to read from Justice Thomas’ concurrence. Shannon just mentioned this. And this is getting a lot of attention in terms of whether or not this decision leads to other decisions as well.
He said: In future cases, we should reconsider all of the court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence and Obergefell —
MACCALLUM: — which are same sex marriage and contraception decisions. He said, we have a duty to correct the error established in those precedents.
That’s going to send a chill through many moderate voters’ minds across the country, Senator.
GRAHAM: Well, I really respect Clarence Thomas. They tried to destroy him. Remember his confirmation process?
They tried to destroy Kavanaugh. You know, Bush 41 stood by Clarence Thomas. President Trump stood by Kavanaugh and here we are today.
But Alito I think set the right tone. He said nothing in this decision puts those cases at risk. The reason he decided that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided is because it deals with the potential for life. These other privacy issues like contraception. Do not deal with the potential for life.
He made a distinction between same marriage and contraception which I think will win the day over time.
One thing we’re not talking about is Harry Reid. We wouldn’t be here if Harry Reid had not changed the rules of the Senate, allowing a simple majority.
Harry Reid believed they’re going to have Democratic presidents forever. He took the rule the Senate, he changed them. And those simple majority rules led to Trump getting three great conservatives on the court.
And one thing we’re not talking about is Justice Ginsburg, who was a mighty voice for the liberal cause. She chose not to retire.
So, it was amazing series of events that allowed us to get here today. And at the state level, to my friends on the left, you’re going to have a hell of a fight on your hands at the state level, at the ballot box, and that’s what they should have been all along.
MACCALLUM: Yeah. I think you’re going to see a lot of attention paid to state legislature, elections in places where people might not have paid attention in the past.
But your colleagues in the Senate, Joe Manchin, he’s a pro-life Catholic. He’s calling for legislation to codify Roe v. Wade. Murkowski, Collins also doing the same. Bernie Sanders says we got to end the filibuster, and we must codify as the law Roe and Casey.
What do you say to them?
GRAHAM: I don’t think Joe Manchin is going to turn the Senate into the House. He may be disappointed in this decision.
If you’re pro-life, you should embrace this decision. It allows states to determine life, not five unelected judges.
I don’t see — Susan Collins or Murkowski are pro-choice — changing the rules of the Senate.
The rules of the Senate would require 60 votes to enshrine Roe v. Wade. Unless you blow up the Senate, that’s not going to happen any time soon. As conservatives, you’d need 62 votes.
So, here’s what you have. You have a full assault on the Constitution by the left. They want to do away with Electoral College. They want to expand the number of judges on the Supreme Court to pack it. And now, they’re pushing Bernie Sanders to change the rules of the Senate.
The Senate will hold here. The Senate will not change. The 60-vote requirement for legislation will hold.
But if you left it up to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, they would blow the Senate up to get their way.
All these people just want an outcome. The constitutional provisions restricting their ability to win, those be damned. We want to change America to get outcomes.
And conservatives are going to fight and we’re going to uphold the Constitution.
And I don’t think Joe Manchin or Sinema or Murkowski or Collins are going to blow up the Senate because they’re disappointed with this court ruling. I don’t believe that. I pray they will not.
MACCALLUM: I want to end on this note because I know that this is something that you feel personally very passionate about, with regard to life. You have fought for heart beat laws and pain laws throughout the course of your career. You spent a lot of time in the Senate, and so did now President Joe Biden.
He’s evolved dramatically. When I think about the things he said on Friday about what a somber day Friday was, and then I want to hear — I want to play for everyone what he said in 2006 about this issue. Watch.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE BIDEN (D-DE), THEN-U.S. SENATOR: I do not view abortion as a choice and a right. I think it’s always a tragedy.
And I think that it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions. And you ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus to do that.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Where did that Joe Biden go, Senator?
GRAHAM: The radicalization of Joe Biden, the guy that ran and the guy we actually have as president are two different people. He ran as a centrist. He’s governing in the most radical way in any president maybe in modern history.
What happened is the radical left has taken over the Democratic Party. And he is going where they’re taking him.
What do they want to do in light of this opinion? They want to change the makeup of the court, to pack it with additional judges so it will become liberal, not conservative.
What do they want to do when it comes to elections? They want to federalize elections, take the power away from the states, institute ballot harvesting, and doing away with voter IDs. They want to make D.C. and Puerto Rico a state.
At the end of the day, their constitutional anarchists are in charge of the Democratic Party. And I appreciate President Biden saying to the left, don’t use violence.
What I worry about is this protest going unchecked at judges’ homes is giving a green light to there are no rules anymore. If we don’t watch it, somebody’s going to get killed out here.
And I’m urging Merrick Garland to start putting people in jail who show up at justices’ homes to try and intimidate them and their family.
If we don’t reset here pretty soon, somebody’s going to get killed.
Do what we did. Go to the ballot box. Try to win elections. Don’t burn down the country.
MACCALLUM: Well, the attorney general certainly has the law on the books to do exactly that, at judges’ homes, at justices’ homes.
Senator, always good to see you. Thank you very much, Senator Lindsey Graham —
GRAHAM: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: — for joining us today from Columbia, South Carolina.
Coming up next, we will get reaction from Democrat Stacey Abrams, who’s running for governor in Georgia, one of the states that could soon see major changes in the wake of this ruling from the Supreme Court.
MACCALLUM: Now that the high court has overturned federally guaranteed access to abortion, states begin the process of governing the issue according to their own laws.
In the state of Georgia, in 2019, the legislature passed the Georgia Life Law, which puts in place a ban after six weeks or when a heart beat is detected. But it was held up in court until now. But now, Governor Kemp says he believes it will go into effect soon.
Joining us now, Georgia Democrat Stacey Abrams who is running against Governor Kemp this November.
Ms. Abrams, welcome to “FOX News Sunday”. It’s good to have you with us.
STACEY ABRAMS (D), GEORGIA GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE: Thank you for having me.
MACCALLUM: So with regard to that law, I know that you said you were appalled by the outcome of the court’s decision. But given the law that was voted in by the legislature in Georgia, do you support the fact that they will carry out the will of the people in Georgia and put that law at a six-week ban into effect?
ABRAMS: I do not. And I would reject the notion that this is the will of the people. This is a political decision made by the narrowest of margins and done to satisfy an even narrower constituency.
A majority of Georgians rejected the notion of overturning Roe v. Wade. They reject this bill. And this is not the law that will be safest for Georgia women.
What is more concerning to me though is the notion that our constitutional rights and bodily autonomy that women for 50 years have come to rely on will now be subject to state by state imprimatur rather than being governed by a federal notion that no matter who you are, no matter where you live, we live in the United States and our ability to control our bodies should be sacrosanct regardless of state lines.
MACCALLUM: So, we are seeing that there will be different limitations based on when people would be able to get an abortion. Do you support any limitation on abortion or does that — do you think that women should have the right to have an abortion all the way up to nine months?
ABRAMS: I believe an abortion is a medical decision. I believe that should be a choice made between a doctor and a woman and in consultation with her family. But I think the challenge that we have is that we keep putting this in a political space.
This is a medical decision. And the medical choices that should be made should be governed by what is best for that woman and what is best at the suggestion of and advice of their doctor.
MACCALLUM: But — so you used to be pro-life. And you say that you then converted to being pro-choice.
You know, you say it’s a medical decision. A lot of people would disagree with that. A lot of people would say it’s a decision about life and respecting life.
I want to play this sound bite for you from another woman in leadership. This is Virginia lieutenant governor, Winsome Sears. And she’s talking in this sound bite about the situation in Virginia. And I want to get your thoughts on it on the other side.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
WINSOME SEARS (R), VIRGINIA LIEUTENATN GOVERNOR: 2019, 15,000 plus abortions were done, 46 percent of them were done by Black women.
Now, if the KKK had said, we will pay for every Black woman to have an abortion who wants one, we would say to ourselves, wait a minute, something’s up. Why don’t they want us to have our babies?
But you see that we — we don’t understand what’s going on. And so, we’re losing so many Black lives that matter.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: Do you think that she has a point in terms of losing so many Black lives that matter? I have heard that sentiment from other people as well.
ABRAMS: I think that’s a very specious agreement that’s used to cloak what is, I think a deeply disturbing approach to this conversation. In fact, during my tenure in the legislature, I beat back a bill design to deny access to this medical decision using race as a divisive tactic. And I reject that.
Black women in Georgia face the highest maternal mortality rate. They are three times more likely to die. We know that Black women are the most likely to be underserved by their medical care. And we know that sometimes the choice that they need to make medically, economically and personally is to have an abortion.
If she — if Lieutenant Governor Sears or others want to address the racial dimensions, then we have to address all the racial dimensions. The likelihood women — black women being underpaid, the likelihood of Black women living in broken public health infrastructures, the likelihood of them not having access to Medicaid and not having access to insurance which tends to lead to worse pregnancies and worse outcomes.
We cannot cherry-pick when we pay attention to the lives and safety of women. And that is the deepest challenge that we face here in Georgia.
MACCALLUM: But what about the lives and safety — what about the lives and safety of the child?
ABRAMS: Brian Kemp has refused to expand Medicaid in the state of Georgia. He’s refused to support women at every stage of their lives when they are trying to make the best choices for themselves and their families.
And the reality is, if we care about the medical – if we care about the medical needs of women, especially black women, then we have to care the entire time. The medical decision about an abortion –
MACCALLUM: I understand, but I’m just asking you –
ABRAMS: I know.
MACCALLUM: I asked you about, when you see — you know, I asked you if you believe in it all the way up to nine months. So, I’m just asking you, ,you’re talking about caring about the lives of women. I’m just asking, at what point do you start to care about the life of that baby, that baby girl, in this – in some cases?
ABRAMS: What I would say is that it is a medical decision. I don’t know of a single woman who reaches the stage where this decision is easy. That is not the case. And so this is a medical conversation. And while we are absolutely compelled to have these difficult conversations, they should not be political ones. I should not be making decisions without having true understanding of the facts, nor should any other political leader. This is not a political issue. This is a medical issue.
MACCALLUM: OK. So I’m going to – I’m going to take that as up to nine months in some cases depending on the woman, correct?
ABRAMS: That is not what I – that is not what I said. I said this is a medical decision. And the medical decisions that have to be made have to be made in context. This is a specious approach to try to denude the entire argument. And the reality is, abortion and reproductive care is personal and it is singular and it should be made between a woman and her doctor. I do not have either the experience or the capacity to know what is happening with others.
MACCALLUM: OK. I want to move on. We could talk about this a lot longer, I’m sure. But I want to ask you a little bit about this recent headline in an interview that you did with “Axios.” And it’s — the title is “Stacey Abrams wants to fund the police.”
So, what would you say to those who look at that headline and hear you calling for an increase for pay to certain law enforcement, that this is election politics and that this is a change of tune given this sound byte from an interview that you did with CNN that is now part of an ad that your opponent has put out there, I should point out.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Listen to Stacey Abrams on defunding the police.
ALISYN CAMEROTA, CNN ANCHOR: So, yes, to some defunding?
STACEY ABRAMS (D), GEORGIA GOVERNOR CANDIDATE: We have to reallocate resources. So, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So, what’s your reaction to that? And do you believe that you’ve changed your tune on defunding the police?
ABRAMS: No, because if you listen to the whole clip, which Brian Kemp conveniently leaves out, I said, if the choice is between the murder of black people and serving black people, then certainly. But I don’t think that’s where we are and I don’t think that’s where we have to be.
My intent is to balance public safety and justice. Because doing otherwise has never worked. We cannot punish our way into public safety. But we also have to recognize that there are deep challenges in how law enforcement engages our communities. And that is why I’m pushing both for public safety measures, accountability measures, and criminal justice reform measures.
What I believe most fundamentally, and this is true if you look at my entire record, is that living wages have to be paid especially to our public worker, especially to law enforcement. And in the state of Georgia, if you’re a correctional officer, you made $ 39,000. If you’re a community supervisor, that is someone who deals with probation and parole, and Georgia has the highest rate in the nation, you make $ 39,000. If you’re a trooper cadet, you make a little under – you make a little over $ 40,000.
ABRAMS: We need to pay a living wage in Georgia. And that is what my proposal says.
MACCALLUM: And I know –
ABRAMS: Play a living wage to our public safety workers, just as I want to pay to our teachers, $ 50,000, because that’s the right thing to do.
MACCALLUM: OK. Your opponent has also called and implemented for pay raises for members of law enforcement. But that aside, in terms of the defund the police movement, would you say looking back at it that it caused damage? That it — what we saw was a mass leaving of the – of office of police officers across the country? We saw an increase in homicide rates, 19 percent in Atlanta, 55 percent last year.
Do you think it was a mistake to defund the police, to have this movement across the country?
ABRAMS: The intention that we had in 2020 was to call attention to the harm that was being done to black people by the police. We have a litany of murders that shocked the consciences of every American. But let’s be clear, in the state of Georgia, violent crime went up 55 percent in 2019 to 2020 under Brian Kemp. It had nothing to do with the reaction to George Floyd’s murder, to Rayshard Brooks’ murder, to Ahmaud Arbery’s murder, to Breonna Taylor’s murder. It happened under Brian Kemp’s leadership. It happened under a president and a governor who believed that punishment rather than a balanced approach was the answer.
We know that has never worked. That we have to have both public safety and justice. And that’s simply the intention that I have. Let us invest in our public safety workers. Let us invest in making certain that our communities are served, that we center the well-being of our communities, that we think about their health care, we think about their safety and we think about those who are providing that safety.
I want us to have the best law enforcement possible to protect our communities, but they also have to be held accountable. And we can do both and. It is a false choice to say that we have to do one or the other.
MACCALLUM: But many look at that movement and say that it backfired, that it led to an exodus of police, as I mentioned, that you have seen an increase in homicides, specifically in many cities across the country, that a lot of people who get arrested are back out on the street the next day. This is a dangerous movement that has led to a lot of violence and unrest in cities across the country.
Do you disagree?
ABRAMS: I am pointing to the data that is in Georgia. And we saw the largest increase in violent crime preceding that conversation that happened after George Floyd was murdered, after Ahmaud Arbery was murdered. Let’ be clear, Georgia was facing a rise in assaults, a rise in violent crime. We’re going to face a rise in gun violence because we have a governor who has weakened gun laws and allowed dangerous people to carry weapons without a permit, without a background check. And so I think it is very convenient to try to attach this to one moment that is insufficient in terms of its data and in terms of its outcome.
But we know in Georgia, the number of people leaving law enforcement often cite pay. They cite pay, they cite morale and that’s because they are not feeling completely supported by our governor and by our leadership.
MACCALLUM: Morale. Yes.
ABRAMS: They need the ability to take care of themselves and their families. And we have law enforcement officers, especially at the local level, who are on food stamps because we are not doing our job to provide a living wage for those we ask to do a difficult job.
MACCALLUM: Well, we certainly have seen a dip in morale across the country in police and I think a lot of them would attribute it to movements to try to diminish their job and to try to put them in a light that many of them felt they didn’t deserve.
Before I let you go, I want to ask you one more question, and it’s about President Biden.
His approval numbers are at 39 percent. Obviously, we have soaring inflation. We’ve got gas prices that are putting a real dent in people’s wallets across the country.
Will you be asking the president to campaign with you in Georgia in the governor’s race against Governor Kemp?
ABRAMS: I welcome anyone who wants to come to Georgia to help improve the lives of Georgians. And that includes the president of the United States.
But, more importantly, I invite people to go to my website, it’s staceyabrams.com, to learn about my plans for Georgia. This is a state race. This is a race about the future of Georgia, one Georgia, where we treat our public workers – public safety workers, our teachers, anyone who should be doing their best for our communities deserve the best from our government.
And please go to my website, it’s staceyabrams.com, to learn more about my plan for one (ph) Georgia.
MACCALLUM: All right, we look forward to the conversation. We appreciate you being here today. Stacey Abrams, we hope we’ll have a chance to talk to you in the future more about this important race in the governor’s — for the governor’s office in Georgia.
Thank you very much.
ABRAMS: Thanks for having me.
MACCALLUM: Up next, we will bring in our Sunday group and get a look at what the real impact is likely to be on the upcoming races as Democrats push to end the filibuster in reaction to what happened in the Supreme Court.
We’ll be right back.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think the Supreme Court is broken, in your view?
JOE BIDEN, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: I think the Supreme Court has made some terrible decisions.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: So that was President Biden expressing his disappointment over the court’s recent decisions.
Time now for our Sunday group.
Fox News congressional correspondent Aishah Hasnie, Fox News political analyst Juan Williams, former RNC communications director Doug Heye, and “Axios” national political reporter Jonathan Swan.
Welcome to all of you. It’s great to be with you in Washington.
You know what, I actually want to take a look at another sound byte because we went out and asked people on the street what their reaction is because ultimately it’s going to be how voters feel about this as we head into the midterms that will matter.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Elections are not enough. We need – we really need all kinds of state legislators and courts to act rationally and judge fairly.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think the country’s already pretty polarized on this issue. I think people who are pro-life are already Republican and who are, quote/unquote, pro-choice are already democrat. I also think there’s a lot of other issues that are going to be in play, like inflation. I think it’s certainly an issue that people are concerned about, and gas prices. So it may have an impact, but I don’t think it’s going to have a big impact.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
MACCALLUM: You know what, Jonathan, let me start with you and let’s start with President Biden and his response. I played a sound byte a moment ago where he said back in 2006 that any abortion was a tragedy. He’s definitely changed his tune on that. How does this play for the president going forward?
JONATHAN SWAN, “AXIOS” NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER: So, inside the White House they’ve been preparing for this since the leak happened, since the leak came out at the start of May of the decision. They immediately saw, in terms of the political dimension’s oven it, they saw this as their best opportunity to energize Democratic voters this year.
The guns issue was another one, but that’s sort of been neutered (ph) a little bit because of the bipartisan deal on The Hill. So, to the extent that they have an issue that can rev up their base, their base has been very depressed, they’ve got probably the most horrible political environment for Democrats in a decade. And this issue has been, to some extent, a life raft for them.
So, they’re going to do a full court press on this. The vice president has a really prominent role in this. She’s been meeting with pro-choice groups almost every week since that leak happened and they’re going to mobilize their political and outside infrastructure to get as much political bang for their buck as they can out of this decision.
Doug, I just spoke with Stacey Abrams. When you look at the Kemp/Abrams race, right, what’s the impact of a decision like this in a place like Georgia?
DOUG HEYE, FORMER RNC MUNICATIONS DIRECTOR AND FOUNDER OF DOUGLAS MEDIA: You know, the short answer is, in that race, also Pennsylvania, governor and Senate race, we don’t know yet. And there are a lot of reasons we don’t know. We don’t know if it’s, as Jonathan mentioned, how much that’s going to motivate Democrats versus all the other things that everyday Americans are dealing with every day, inflation being the most prominent example. And one thing that Republicans need to be concerned about, looking back at 2010, 2012 and 2014 Senate races is, what kind of Republican rhetoric are we going to hear from this?
So, Mary Miller, last night in Illinois, talked about white life, whatever that means. This is a shade of Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Sharron Angle, Christine O’Donnell, four Senate races that we left on the table. And it’s one reason in Missouri that Republicans are so concerned about Erick Wright and this potentially being the nominee, as opposed to the other candidates who have — don’t have the controversial rhetoric and also private life that he has had.
MACCALLUM: Yes, I mean, it’s a great point. You know, how do Republicans sort of frame this discussion and how do they talk about it given the fact, Juan, that you’re going to have a lot of moderate voters in places like Pennsylvania or Michigan who may be swayed by this issue.
It’s really difficult to tell how much though given the things that Doug points out, given inflation, given gas prices. How much is it going to matter?
JUAN WILLIAMS, FOX NEWS POLITICAL ANALYST: Well, I think it does matter. And it matters if you look back at exactly the segment of the electorate that decided some past elections, you point directly at suburban white women and you’d say, are they motivated to turn out to vote? Is this a big issue for them? What we know historically is that abortion has really been a trigger for people who are opposed to abortion rights. They’ve made it their number one issue, their litmus test that takes them to the polls. It’s the issue they vote on.
This now shifts the dynamic. The dynamic now becomes, people who say, hey, I didn’t think my abortion rights were going to go away. They’ve been here for 50 years. My mom, my grand mom had abortion rights and now that precedent has been erased and now I’m outraged and so I am now incentivized to go and vote. And I think for Democrats there is a big hope there. I think you’re looking, just picking up on what Doug was talking about, you’re looking not only at those states, you’re looking at Arizona, with the Mark Kelly race, you’re looking at Pennsylvania in a big way in terms of that — the governor’s race and the Senate race, where all of a sudden the suburbs outside of Pittsburgh, outside of Philadelphia, they are going to make a big difference.
MACCALLUM: Maybe. You know, I mean I — I think it’s an open question, Aishah, when you look at this issue because it has been a very long time that this has been in place and yet a lot has changed in the world since then. I look at these young womens pro-life groups who are outside the Capitol. They have grown in size. You look at the Hispanic vote, which is now becoming more conservative slowly over time.
What about the political impact of this?
AISHAH HASNIE, FOX NEWS CONGRESSIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Yes, I think, obviously, Democrats are going to – congressional Democrats are going to try to capitalize on this as much as they can. I think if they can try to bottle this emotion up that we’re seeing out in the streets, a call for protests, to try to pour that into the midterms, it could work. I could see some sort of ads out there playing like – playing on that unknown fear of, you know, something like, you know, if you saw what they took away from you with reproductive rights, think about what else they could take away. Kind of that — playing up that unknown fear.
So, I think they will absolutely try that. Nancy Pelosi talked about what the plan is going to be for the midterms. I don’t know if it works. In — four months is a very long time, ahead of November, especially in Washington. Anything could happen.
Think about what happened last year in August. I mean we’re approaching that one year anniversary. If something like that were to happen again, things could definitely go a different direction. So I don’t know that it helps Democrats the way I think they’re hoping that it might help, especially with inflation and gas prices. That is what people are talking about mostly, especially independents. In states like Nevada, that I just went to a week ago, talking with independents, people who used to be Democrats, people who used to be Republicans who are now unaffiliated voters, so those – that’s now the majority in that state. They are mostly worried about gas prices, inflation, not as much about social issues.
WILLIAMS: You know, I think, though, for those states that you just visited, I think about the Latino population Martha mentioned earlier. We see some inclination now more towards voting for Republicans. But this decision really is a tremendous burden on working class to middle class women, and specifically those who are Latino, black women who, you know, may have a child. Most people who have abortions have a child. Half of them are in poverty. So, someone who is like trying to get their nursing certificate suddenly, you know, an unintended pregnancy, suddenly their life choices are limited because their rights have been taken away. The court talks about individual rights and individual liberties. They’ve taken away individual liberty from these people.
MACCALLUM: Well, they’ve just returned them to the states.
WILLIAMS: No, but –
MACCALLUM: They’re now allowing the states and the people who vote for their representatives in the state to govern based on what the people desire.
But we’re going to hold it there. I’ve got to –
WILLIAMS: That’s not what – wait a second, but let me make – respond to your point.
MACCALLUM: Go ahead. Well, that’s a fact.
WILLIAMS: Because this very week they said the states cannot decide with regard to guns and what people – regulation of guns in the state but they said, oh, we’re going to decide about abortion. We’re going to take away abortion and make it –
MACCALLUM: Well, they said the Second Amendment is no less a right than any other.
WILLIAMS: Yes. Well, all of a sudden –
MACCALLUM: It’s a very specific right in the Constitution.
WILLIAMS: Well, it seems to me they trust the states –
MACCALLUM: And their argument is that abortion is not a specified right in the Constitution.
WILLIAMS: They’re – they’re going to put that out so the states can send women to jail. They can send doctors to jail. But they can’t say anything about who gets to walk around with a gun?
MACCALLUM: All right, we’re going to be back with more conversation with our panel.
Take a quick break here.
Up next, President Biden heads to Europe to meet with world leaders. We’re going to discuss their new plan and keeping up the pressure on Russia.
MACCALLUM: And we are back with the panel.
Today, President Biden beginning talks with the G-7.
Jonathan, let me start with you. We’re short on time.
So, there’s discussion about banning Russian gold imports. That’s happening now between the United States and the U.K. What’s your take on how seriously this crackdown on Russia is actually having an impact, given what we’re seeing on the ground there?
SWAN: Well, the Russian economy has proven to be quite resilient. And, actually, despite all of the early kind of heady optimism, Russia, it’s digging — they’re digging in and they’re making slow gains. And this is looking like it’s developing into a war of attrition. So, the big challenge for Biden right now is keeping unity in the west. That’s easier said than done. You’re already seeing here in America how strong the argument is particularly on the right in the base, in the right, about not sending any more money to Ukraine. And we’ve got all these problems here domestically, why are we sending $ 40 billion to Ukraine? They’re going to have a lot more trouble when they come back to The Hill again to get something else for Ukraine. This is becoming a more and more difficult issue.
So, they’re trying to hold it together and it’s really fragile. It’s very, very fragile, this coalition that they’ve got together.
MACCALLUM: You’ve been in the region, Aishah. You know, we are seeing a situation where you’ve got a blockade of grain exports out of Ukraine right now and a question about whether or not the United States should be doing more to break up that blockade and get those shipments through.
HASNIE: I think not only that, but think about, you know, the G-7, the NATO alliance is – it’s incredibly influential. But then you’ve got the rest of the world too. You’ve got countries like India that are now importing a ton of Russian oil. So, you have to think about why we’re not hearing more of that from congressional leaders. Why we’re not talking about secondary sanctions when other countries around the world are seemingly looking the other way and not, you know, siding with us on this.
So, I do wonder why they’re not questioning more about that and — when the front door is open – when the front door is closed, but the back door is open, does it really matter? Are we really gaining any significant outcome out of this?
MACCALLUM: Just about 15 seconds each. A quick thought on that, Doug?
HEYE: Look, Vladimir Putin’s best asset right now is time. He not only knows that, he’s depending on it, which is why what Jonathan was referencing causes him great benefit and real concern here in the west.
WILLIAMS: Well, I think that the Russian combat capabilities in the morning papers it was reported, the U.S. intelligence thinks they’re limited. So, if the United States can keep the allies together, time may actually reverse and we may see more power with the Ukrainian capacity being supplemented by the allies.
MACCALLUM: Thank you all. A big week ahead. Great to have you with us this morning.
HEYE: Thank you.
MACCALLUM: Thanks, panel. We’ll see you next Sunday.
Up next, a final word on the week ahead.
MACCALLUM: Not enough time. That went fast.
Thank, everybody. That is it for today. I’m Martha MacCallum. I’ll see you on “THE STORY” tomorrow at 3:00 on Fox News Channel.
Have a great week and we’ll see you next FOX NEWS SUNDAY.
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