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Stacey Abrams says "anti-abortion is not the will of the people"

Abortion rights: How Roe v. Wade came to be

Potential Democratic candidate for president Stacey Abrams, considered a rising star among Democrats for her strong gubernatorial campaign in deep-red Georgia, denounced a series of legislative efforts in Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country to severely limit women's access to an abortion.

"Anti-abortion is not the will of the people," Abrams told a crowd at conference Wednesday hosted by the progressive think thank Center for American Progress. "Less than 25% across the country believe that we should overturn Roe v. Wade, and yet in Kentucky and Ohio and Indiana and Missouri and Mississippi and Georgia and Alabama we see these bans moving forward, and it is not a reflection of the will of the people."  

Abrams lamented that her home state is "leading the nation" in pushing "aggressive and deeply unfortunate forced pregnancy bans." Along with Georgia, state legislatures in Missouri, Mississippi, Kentucky and Ohio have recently passed so-called "heartbeat" bills, which effectively bar abortion from taking place after six to eight weeks of pregnancy. 

In Alabama, Republican lawmakers went even further, passing an outright ban on abortion which the state's Republican governor signed into law.

The bans have not yet taken effect and are expected to face formidable legal challenges. The bill in Kentucky has already been struck down by a court. Abortion rights activists believe the efforts by Republican legislatures are designed to mount the most robust challenge to the constitutional right to an abortion established in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision by the Supreme Court in 1973. 

During the event Wednesday, Abrams appeared to make reference to her potential presidential bid, saying "there is a solution" to the problem she identified as elected leaders not listening to science or to the "voices of the people." 

"It is not, however, having everyone in America run for president," she said, adding, "That is also not an announcement."

Abrams has previously indicated she's likely to make an announcement about a potential White House bid later in the year, during the fall.  

Nicole Sganga and Alexander Tin contributed reporting.