Pro-life groups clash with Georgia's Kemp over potential Senate pick

Pro-life advocates are calling out Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp amid speculation that he could replace retiring Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., with a financial executive with alleged ties to abortion providers.

Leaders from a slew of pro-life organizations all pointed to potential replacement Kelly Loeffler's position on the board of Grady Health -- a network of facilities that purportedly engaged in activities which raised pro-life activists' concerns -- as well as her part ownership of the Atlanta Dream, a WNBA team that has promoted Planned Parenthood.

The controversy comes following a report that Kemp tried to convince President Trump that Loeffler was a good choice for the seat. Isakson announced in August that he would retire at the end of the year, citing health problems. A special election has been set for 2020 to decide who will serve the final two year's of Isakson's term.

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Penny Young Nance, the head of the pro-life Concerned Women for America, blasted Kemp's reported choice of Loeffler on Wednesday.

"There are better choices for Gov.Kemp 4 the next U.S. Senator from GA. He has a list of fantastic pro-life candidates. We hope he doesn’t pick the one the pro-life community will oppose,' she tweeted on Wednesday.

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"Kelly Loeffler should be disqualified as a GA Senate appointment," Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser tweeted. "She’s on the board of Grady Memorial Hospital, largest abortion provider in the state. Grady is an abortionist training hub. Its doctors are leading advocates AGAINST @BrianKempGA pro-life laws."

Trump reportedly preferred that Kemp pick Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga., whom the Susan B. Anthony List has publicly backed and, in 2016, described as having a "pristine pro-life voting record." The group helps fundraise for pro-life candidates around the country.

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The March for Life and Tea Party Patriots similarly condemned the reported decision. Kemp responded on Wednesday by dismissing as absurd the idea that he would nominate someone who was pro-choice.

"I stand with hardworking Georgians and @POTUS. The idea that I would appoint someone to the U.S. Senate that is NOT pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-freedom, and 100% supportive of our President (and his plan to Keep America Great) is ridiculous," he said.

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Kemp previously received pro-life groups' praise when he signed a controversial measure, known as "heartbeat" legislation, that blocks abortions after the point when a doctor can detect a heartbeat.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the hospital cited by pro-lifers -- Grady Memorial Hospital -- doesn't provide elective abortions and "hasn’t for at least a decade." The hospital did not immediately respond to Fox News' request for comment.

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Dannenfelser also pointed to Grady Health's connection to Emory Medical School, which she said has "the largest training program for abortionists in Georgia."

"Emory's pro-abortion credentials are well-established," she tweeted. "They provided a hospitable home to CDC's top abortion advocate, Willard Cates, and to Peter and Judith Bourne, whose campaign against Georgia's pro-life law led to the Doe v. Bolton companion ruling to Roe in 1973."