By: Cara Korte | CBS News
May 16, 2019
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS) -- Flanked by abortion rights advocates at the Georgia State House Thursday, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand said that laws banning or restricting abortion are "against Christian faith."
"If you are a person of the Christian faith, one of the tenants of our faith is free will. One of the tenants of our democracy is that we have a separation of church and state, and under no circumstances are we supposed to be imposing our faith on other people. And I think this is an example of that effort," she said at a press conference.
Gillibrand addressed the press following a roundtable with Georgia state legislators, physicians, and activists. Gillibrand came to Georgia after neighboring Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed into law a bill banning abortion, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Earlier this month, Georgia joined Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, Iowa, and North Dakota in banning abortions after six weeks, adopting what are also known as "heartbeat bills."
Gillibrand laid out three steps she plans to adopt as policy: to codify abortion across the country; end the Hyde amendment, which bans federal funding for abortion; and guarantee reproductive healthcare in every state. Thursday's promise adds to Gillibrand's commitment to only appoint judges and Supreme Court justices committed to upholding Roe v. Wade.
The senator also called on other Democratic presidential hopefuls to lay out reproductive rights policies. "Any Democrat who expects to win the presidency must answer definitively where they stand on this issue," she said.
In one of the most impassioned parts of her address, Gillibrand challenged President Trump. She questioned Mr. Trump's care for women's issues, saying he "demeans" and "dismisses us."
"If this is a fight that President Trump wants, if this is a fight that he wants with the American people, if this is a fight he wants with America's women, it is a fight he will have and it is a fight he will lose."