Two Dozen Black Ministers Ask GA Senate Candidate Warnock to 'Reconsider' Pro-Choice Support

Ahead of the Georgia Senate runoff elections, a group of Black ministers, most of them from Georgia, have sent a letter to Democratic candidate Rev. Raphael Warnock asking him to reconsider his pro-choice position.

The letter, reported by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was signed by more than 20 ministers and sent to Warnock's campaign. The letter "applauds" Warnock's "efforts to share Christ while pursuing political solutions" to major issues, before shifting to Warnock's stance on abortion.

"[W]e feel compelled to confront your most recent statements concerning abortion. You have gone on the record saying that you are a 'pro-choice pastor' who will 'always fight for reproductive justice.' You have publicly expressed your views that abortion is an exercise of 'human agency and freedom' that is fully consistent with your role as a shepherd of God's people," the letter stated.

"We believe these statements represent grave errors of judgment and a lapse in pastoral responsibility, and we entreat you to reconsider them," the letter continued, according to the AJC.

Warnock defends position on being a Pro-Choice Pastor: “I have a profound reverence for life & an abiding respect for choice. I happen to think that a patient’s room is too small a place for a woman, her doctor and the U.S. government. I think that’s too many people in the room”

— Mona Salama (@MonaSalama_) December 7, 2020

Warnock has been open and adamant about his pro-choice beliefs. "I have a profound reverence for life and an abiding respect for choice," he said in a recent debate against incumbent Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler. "I happen to think that a patient's room is too small a place for a woman, her doctor and the U.S. government. I think that's too many people in the room, but those who are concerned about life-and I certainly am-ought to be focused on the incredibly high rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality in our country when compared to other developed nations. That's something the government can work on."

I am a pro-choice pastor.

— Reverend Raphael Warnock (@ReverendWarnock) December 9, 2020

In an emailed statement to Newsweek, a Warnock campaign spokesperson reiterated the candidate's stance abortion.

"Reverend Warnock believes a patient's room is too small a place for a woman, her doctor, and the US government and that these are deeply personal health care decisions - not political ones. He also believes those who are concerned about life, ought to be focused on the incredibly high rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality and working to make sure we are expanding access to health care, not taking it away," campaign spokesperson Michael J. Brewer said.

Among the signers that the AJC listed was Bishop Garland Hunt Sr. of The Father's House in Norcross, GA. Hunt has participated in videos for the website Pray Vote Stand, which is run by the Family Research Council's FRC Action. The FRC's mission statement includes goals to "advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview."

In a December 2 Pray Vote Stand video (which also featured an appearance by former Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann), Hunt spoke about his view of abortion.

"I'm amazed sometimes Christians try to minimize the innocent blood of babies in the womb. I mean, how can you minimize this? 'You Christians. It's just one issue.' Absolutely not. This is a major issue. I believe God is angry, when he sees babies murdered in the womb," he said in the video

In the video, Hunt then spoke about abortion rights activist Margaret Sanger's views on eugenics and his views on gay marriage. Hunt then appeared to reference Warnock and criticized his views.

"It amazes me that there would be even some people running for office that say they're a man of God and don't have a conviction about innocent blood that there's share of children in the womb or religious freedom and religious liberty or what marriage is between a man and a woman. I don't understand that. So I have to be very, very serious about standing for values that are basic biblical values," Hunt said.

Hunt has also campaigned for and endorsed President Donald Trump, appearing at a September campaign rally.

Hunt also told the AJC that he would be open to discussing the letter with Warnock.

Raphael Warnock Conyers Drive In Rally
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Raphael Warnock speaks to the crowd during an outdoor drive-in rally on December 5, 2020 in Conyers, Georgia. Jessica McGowan/Getty