“I believe in enforcing all state laws, but my primary obligation is to uphold our state constitution,” she said. “This is the oath I took as a lawyer and as an elected official.”
Carr, who was nominated in 2016 and is seeking his second full term, is being challenged by Jordan and libertarian Martin Cowen. Cowen also said he supported the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, which allowed abortions until the fetus could survive on its own.
The candidates also disagreed on whether state law allows prosecutors to investigate and charge pregnant women who seek abortions. Georgia law specifically protects women from prosecution, instead targeting medical providers who could face up to 10 years in prison for carrying out the procedure after the law allows it.
But it has yet to be interpreted the “personality” provisions included in Georgian law that grant rights to an embryo in the womb at any stage of development. Jordan said the law makes women vulnerable to prosecution.
“When you think of homicide law, manslaughter law, even child abuse law, all of that would actually apply to an embryo,” she said. “And for a pregnant woman – if she were to harm the embryo and in fact, maybe have a miscarriage – it’s ridiculous to say that this law doesn’t allow a prosecutor to prosecute a woman because ‘it is clear that it is.”
Carr disagreed, saying the courts consider the intent of the legislature when laws are passed and that the law was not intended to stop women.
“The senator is wrong,” he said. “She also knows that there is nothing in this bill that talks about what she just said. … I protect the women of this state from human trafficking, gangs (and) elder abuse. She’s just trying to scare them away with a crude policy.
In a recent poll by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Carr was ahead about 10 percentage points in the race. He received support from almost 45% of those polled by the AJC. Jordan had the support of about 35% of those polled. cowen received the support of just over 5% of likely voters polled. The rest of the respondents were undecided.
Carr is also a fundraising leader. The incumbent said it had raised about $4.3 million as of Sept. 30, according to campaign finance records. The AJC reported Tuesday that more than $70,000 of Carr’s donations came from a health insurance giant that has paid hundreds of millions of dollars in legal settlements with states over allegations of drug overbilling. St. Louis-based Centene Corp. said in a statement it is working to resolve Medicaid billing issues with Georgia.
Jordan accused Carr of “coaching” with Centene leaders at the expense of the Georgians.
“Mr. Carr, will you continue to put your self-interest and the interest of your corporate donors ahead of the people of Georgia?” she said.
Carr pushed back against questions that the donations would sway him when the settlement hit his desk.
“From a campaign perspective, I did everything above legality and ethics,” he said. “From a legal point of view, we look at the facts and the law. My sole purpose as Attorney General is to always vigorously defend our client – they are the agencies of the state, but more importantly, the people of our state.
Jordan has raised about $3.1 million, according to his filings. Cowen said he raised $2,800 in donations.