In a park on a Saturday afternoon on the outskirts of Atlanta, a group of young women get together, eating pizza and talking.
But this is not a useless chat, they are discussing this country’s future leadership and in particular what Tuesday’s midterm elections will mean for their reproductive rights.
Most of them are first time voters and were recently encouraged by the Supreme Court decision earlier this year revoke the constitutional right to choose abortion, known colloquially as Roe vs Wade. They’re volunteering with abortion provider Planned Parenthood and looking for potential voters in a mostly black neighborhood.
“I think it’s important for people to understand that you have a voice and a say,” says Brandy Nalyana, of Atlanta.
“With the overturning of Roe v Wade you felt helpless, you were on the street and nobody was listening to you. But now we have the intermediate exams, you are finally able to use your voice.”
They are part of an ongoing strategy in this country to use the increasingly restrictive mosaic of abortion rights to get voters to the polls.
Each state now unilaterally decides which abortion rights apply, and 13 states have already banned or severely restricted access to abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court decision.
Democrats hope to motivate women, in particular, to vote blue and protect their future right of choice.
Nalah Lewis, a political officer with Reproductive Justice, is going door-to-door, encouraging people to go to the polls on Tuesday.
She had an abortion when she was young and wants others to have the right to choose.
“Personally, I was not mentally prepared [having a child]. I didn’t have the finances for that and wanted to finish school, ”Nalah says.
“Republicans are working overtime to take away our rights. I can’t imagine driving hundreds of miles and worrying about childcare and vacation from work or not having the funds to do it. I’m angry and that’s why I ask people to know that abortion is in a runoff. “
Proponents of the favorable choice fear that if both Houses of Congress turned to Republicans, there could be an effort to institute a federal and national ban on abortion, denying states their ability to keep abortion legal.
In Georgia, the disputed Senate race is between incumbent Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock and Republican Herschel Walker, a former American football star who is backed by former President Donald Trump.
The couple is currently stuck and if Walker wins it could be decisive in reversing the balance of power in this country towards the Republican Party.
Walker campaigned on an anti-abortion message. In August he said he supports a total ban on abortion even in cases of rape and incest, although he has since revised this to state that he supports Georgia’s current state of a six-week ban with exceptions.
But the stories of Walker’s past surfaced and were caught by his opponent.
Two women claimed that Walker had extramarital affairs with them and paid or even forced them to have an abortion when they became pregnant.
Walker has denied the claims, not that the scandal seems to hit him in the polls or among his support base, which remains firm.
Many of them were eating and drinking Saturday at a tailgate party outside the football stadium of the Georgia Bulldogs, the team that Walker starred in.
“I’m not worried about that,” says Vanessa Brosnan, Republican voter and Atlanta soccer fan, “I don’t care about him because he’s a good guy. He may have a past, but he let you know what his past is. . There is a thing called forgiveness. “
Others are clear on the basis of their support for Walker. “I would only vote for Herschel because he gave us a fantastic kick,” says Phillip Jennings, a farmer and Georgia Bulldogs fan from Soperton, Georgia.
He says he was a conservative Democrat, but that the party has “lost its way” and will now vote Republican.
“Crime is rampant everywhere,” he says. “If they’re not killing them with a gun, they’re trying to kill them with a hammer and inflation is killing people too.
“We are in a terrible place in this country, both Republicans and Democrats, we need a lot of leadership. We need to start looking ahead, leaving these little problems behind.”
While many voters seem more animated by issues like crime, immigration and inflation, Democrats are keeping a laser focus on abortion rights.
After the Supreme Court decision to end the constitutional right to abortion, they got a notable boost in the polls, but now it’s gone.
As things currently stand, they could face significant defeats on election night and that could have a profound effect on women’s rights in America.