At a park in suburban Atlanta on Saturday afternoon, a group of young women gathered to chat over pizza.
But it’s no small talk, they’re discussing the future leadership of the country, especially what Tuesday’s midterm elections mean for their reproductive rights.
Most of them voted for the first time and were affected by a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year The constitutional right to opt out of abortion, colloquially known as Roy and Wade. They volunteer with abortion provider Planned Parenthood and canvass potential voters in a predominantly black community.
“I think it’s important for people to understand that you have a voice and a voice in this matter,” said Brandy Nalyana from Atlanta.
“With Roe v. Wade overturned, you feel powerless, you’re on the street, and no one’s listening. But now that we have midterms, you can finally use your voice.”
They are part of an ongoing strategy in the country that has been cobbled together using increasingly restrictive abortion rights to push voters to the polls.
Each state now unilaterally decides which abortion rights apply, and 13 states have banned or severely restricted abortion following the Supreme Court ruling.
Democrats in particular want to inspire women to vote blue and protect their future choices.
Reproductive Justice policy officer Nalah Lewis is going door-to-door to encourage people to vote on Tuesday.
As a young woman, she had an abortion and wanted others to have a choice.
“I wasn’t mentally prepared [having a child]. I have no money and I want to finish my studies,” Nalah said.
“Republicans are working overtime to disenfranchise us. I can’t imagine having to drive hundreds of miles worrying about childcare, taking time off or not having the funds to do it. I’m outraged, that’s why I’m asking people to know that abortion is on the ballot. superior.”
Pro-choice advocates worry that if both chambers of Congress turn Republican, efforts could be made to enact a federal, nationwide abortion ban that would deny states the ability to keep abortion legal.
In Georgia, the tight Senate race is between incumbent Democrat Pastor Rafael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, a former U.S. soccer star who has been awarded ex-President Donald Trump support.
The two are currently at an impasse, and if Walker wins, it could decide to shift the balance of power in the country back to the Republicans.
Walker launched his campaign on an anti-abortion message. In August, he said he supported a blanket ban on abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, though he later revised that to say he supports Georgia’s current state of the six-week ban, with exceptions.
But Walker’s own past stories have emerged and been caught by his opponents.
Two women claim Walker had an affair with them and paid for or even forced them to have abortions while they were pregnant.
Walker has denied the claims, not that the scandal appears to have affected him in the polls or his support base, which remains steadfast.
Many of them dined at a tailgate party outside the Georgia Bulldogs football field starring Walker on Saturday.
“I’m not worried,” said Vanessa Brosnan, a Republican voter and football fan from Atlanta. “I’m not worried about him because he’s a good guy. He may have a past, but he’ll let you know what his past is. There is something called forgiveness.
Others are well aware of their support for Walker’s base. “I would vote for Herschel because he gave us great football,” said Philip Jennings, a farmer and Georgia Bulldogs fan from Soperton, Georgia.
He said he used to be a conservative Democrat but the party had “lost its way” and he will now vote Republican.
“Crime is everywhere,” he said. “If they don’t kill them with a gun, they try to kill them with a hammer, and inflation is killing people.
“We’re in a bad place in this country, Republicans and Democrats, and we need a lot of leadership. We need to start looking forward and putting these little issues behind us.”
While many voters appear to be most interested in issues such as crime, immigration and inflation, Democrats are focusing on abortion rights.
They got a marked boost in the polls after the Supreme Court decided to end the constitutional right to abortion, but that’s now gone.
If so, they could suffer a major defeat on election night that could have far-reaching consequences for women’s rights in the United States.