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Abrams attacks Kemp on hospitals, abortion in Athens speech

220917 Stacey Abrams in Athens.png
Isabela Weiss / WUGA
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Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams speaks at an event in Athens on September 17, 2022.

Athenians packed College Square on Saturday to hear Stacey Abrams give a fiery speech where she talked about the state's technical college system and sought to tie incumbent Governor Brian Kemp to the recent closure of one of Atlanta's two level 1 trauma centers.

“I'm here for those families that are in need of healthcare but are being denied access because Brian Kemp will not expand Medicaid in the state of Georgia. I'm here because...there's a countdown to the closure of yet another Level 1 Trauma Center. The 6th hospital to shut down under his failed leadership,” Abrams said.

Last week, Kemp announced an emergency cash infusion to another level 1 trauma center in Atlanta, Grady Memorial Hospital.

Abrams also said that she plans to enact several education reform initiatives if elected.

“We know that we can restore free Technical College in the state of Georgia. We had it before. We know that Hope is fantastic, but sometimes Hope doesn't go as far as it needs to. That's why I want to create need-based financial aid in the state of Georgia so even if you have a “C” average, you can see your way in the future,” said Abrams.

She also criticized Kemp’s stance on abortion rights. Abortion has been a crux of Abrams’s campaign since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, and Georgia's controversial Heartbeat Bill took effect.

“As a woman, I'm now a second-class citizen in the state of Georgia because a six-week abortion ban tells me that I can't make a choice before I even know a choice needs to be made," Abrams said. "[Kemp's] draconian and cruel and biology impaired decision-making has hurt Georgia. It took a man to break the promise, it's gonna take a woman to put it right.”

Abrams' speech came at an event organized by the United Campus Workers of Georgia. As of Sept. 14, Quinnipiac University found that Abrams is nearly tied with Kemp with 48-50%.