Georgia GOP governor candidate wants to ban abortion starting at 'inception'

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Former Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones voiced support for a total ban on abortion.

Former Georgia state Rep. Vernon Jones, who is challenging the state's Gov. Brian Kemp in a Republican primary race, said in May that he thinks pregnancy begins at conception — or, as he put it, "inception," apparently confusing the words — as he called for a total ban on abortions.

Jones made the comment during an interview on May 17 with John Fredericks, who bills himself as "the first media personality in America to endorse Donald J. Trump for President." The interview was shared on Wednesday by American Bridge 21st Century.

Jones, who changed parties and became a Republican in January 2021 as a supporter of Donald Trump, said he favored an even stricter abortion ban than the six-week ban Georgia's Republican-controlled Legislature passed in 2019.

That law banned abortions after six weeks' gestation but was struck down by a federal court in 2020, which ruled the ban unconstitutional in accordance with the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade. Georgia Republicans have appealed the decision; which a federal appeals court will hear the case in September, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

In the interview, Jones said he voted against the bill in 2019, when he was a Democrat, because it was an "intellectually dishonest" move by Kemp.

"Either you're pregnant [...] or you're not," Jones said. "Pregnancy starts with inception. Why didn't he have that in the bill? It doesn't start at six weeks."

Jones added that the abortion ban "didn't go far enough."

"It should have been it starts at inception," Jones said, using the wrong word once again.

Republican lawmakers in many states have passed bans on abortion as early as six or eight weeks' gestation. At that point, many women do not even know they are pregnant or have just found out, giving them little or no time to make a decision about whether to terminate the pregnancy.

In its decision in Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to privacy guarantees a woman's right to choose abortion before a fetus is viable, which is with rare exceptions sometime shortly after 23 weeks' gestation, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Polling conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research in mid-June found that 56% of Americans believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

An even larger majority of 61% say abortion should be legal during the first trimester of pregnancy, which ends at 14 weeks gestation, according to ACOG, far longer than the six weeks at which Republican legislatures are banning abortion.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.