Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams claimed earlier this week that fetal heartbeats detected at six weeks are "manufactured sound" designed to help men control women's bodies.
"There is no such thing as a heartbeat at six weeks," Abrams claimed during an event at the Ray Charles Performing Arts Center in Atlanta on Tuesday. "It is a manufactured sound designed to convince people that men have the right to take control of a woman's body."
However, just months ago the website of Planned Parenthood said a "very basic beating heart and circulatory system develop" during the fifth to sixth week of pregnancy.
Planned Parenthood later amended its website to more closely reflect pro-abortion messaging against heartbeat laws, which ban abortions once a fetal heartbeat is detected. Now the site says a "part of the embryo starts to show cardiac activity" during that time.
Mainstream media outlets have helped further the pro-abortion messaging on fetal heartbeats. In May, after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion suggested the Court was poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, NBC News reported that experts say the term "fetal heartbeat" is "misleading and medically inaccurate."
Yet the article goes on to quote a doctor who says the heart "does begin to develop at around six weeks" but argues that "at this point the heart as we know it does not yet exist."
Abrams suggested on Tuesday that Georgia's heartbeat law shouldn't be referred to as the "Fetal Heartbeat Bill" because "that's medically false, biologically a lie."
She has previously criticized Georgia's heartbeat law as "poorly written" and said last week that she supports abortion "until the time of birth" in some instances.
"Do you think there should be any legal limits on abortion, such as the third trimester or viability?," The View co-host Alyssa Farah asked Abrams.
"I believe that abortion is a medical decision, not a political decision," she replied. "Arbitrary politically-defined timelines are deeply problematic because they ignore the reality of medical and physiological issues."
"Abortion is a medical decision, not a political decision … The limit should not be made by politicians who don't understand basic biology or apparently basic morality," she added.
Abrams is running for governor in Georgia in a rematch against incumbent Governor Brian Kemp. Kemp defeated Abrams in 2018 by more than 54,000 votes to become governor. Abrams has never conceded to Kemp and has claimed the 2018 election was "stolen from Georgians."
Kemp is up 6.6 percentage points in RCP polling average over Abrams.
She told CNN this week that she hopes to keep abortion "front and center in the conversation" as November approaches.
However, only 16 percent of Georgia voters believe abortion is the most important issue this election, according to a new Marist poll. In contrast, 40 percent said inflation is the most important issue.
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