Catholics in Georgia stick with Walker despite abortion allegations 

Georgia Senate Candidates Georgia U.S. Senate candidates Democrat Raphael Warnock (left) and Republican Herschel Walker | Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images

In spite of recent allegations that Herschel Walker, the Republican candidate for Senate in Georgia, paid for an ex-girlfriend’s abortion, he has the support of a solid majority of Catholic voters in the state, according to a new EWTN poll.  

Walker, a former football great and political novice, is campaigning as a pro-life candidate in a race against the incumbent Democrat, Sen. Raphael Warnock, a Baptist minister who calls himself a “pro-choice pastor.” 

According to the EWTN News/RealClearPolitics poll, if the election were held today, 64.7% of Catholic voters would cast their ballots for Walker, while 32.7% would support Warnock.

The Walker-Warnock race is one of the closest-watched in the country, as Georgia is among a handful of states that will determine whether the GOP takes the majority in the Senate.

The race is largely considered to be a toss-up, according to other polls. The latest poll conducted by the Trafalgar Group for the Daily Wire shows Walker ahead of Warnock by 2 percentage points; the latest by East Carolina University shows Warnock leading by 2 points. 

Abortion the focus of Walker-Warnock race

This October the topic of abortion, which was expected to be a major factor in the race following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, became personal when news broke that a former girlfriend of Walker’s alleged that the Senate candidate had paid for her abortion in 2009. 

Originally reported by The Daily Beast, the woman alleged that Walker urged her to abort the child she had conceived while they were dating. The woman said Walker had paid her $700 in the form of a personal check to obtain the procedure.

The former NFL running back denied these allegations in an interview with NBC News Oct. 17, saying the check was his but that the money could have been used for anything. 

The woman, who remains anonymous, also provided a $575 receipt from an abortion clinic and a “get well” card inscribed with Walker’s signature.  

Walker has campaigned on a strong pro-life platform. In May he told reporters, “There’s no exception in my mind. Like I say, I believe in life. I believe in life.” Walker has also voiced support for South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s 15-week abortion ban.

Warnock was elected in 2021 following the resignation of Republican Sen. Johnny Isakson. He has called abortion a “core constitutional principle,” co-sponsored the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would codify abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, and has not voiced support for any restrictions on abortion.

Warnock has come under fire from pro-life Christians for saying his pro-abortion stance is in line with his faith. 

In 2020, a group of 25 Black pastors from Georgia sent an open letter to Warnock asking him to renounce his abortion stance. 

“As a Christian pastor and as a Black leader, you have a duty to denounce the evil of abortion, which kills a disproportionate number of Black children. Your open advocacy of abortion is a scandal to the faith and to the Black community,” the letter read. “We believe these statements represent grave errors of judgment and a lapse in pastoral responsibility, and we entreat you to reconsider them.”

John Ensor, a Georgian native and president of PassionLife — a pro-life ministry that trains Christian leaders in biblical bioethics — explained why Catholics in Georgia support Walker despite the allegations. 

“Leaders within the Catholic Church, and by extension, the broader pro-life movement, have worked for 50 years to teach biblical moral reasoning regarding the value of life,” Ensor said. 

More in US

“The end of Roe means that people now realize that their vote, or lack of it, makes a difference. [The Supreme Court] handed the matter back to the people. Woe to us if we do not then work to persuade our neighbors and vote our values.”

Ensor wrote an opinion piece last week encouraging fellow Georgians to vote for Walker.

“Whatever is in Walker’s past, if his present life is committed to peacefully, winsomely, persuasively, and courageously speaking up for the unborn child until their full humanity is acknowledged and respected, he gets my vote,” Ensor wrote in the piece.

Scott Klusendorf, president of the Life Training Institute — which equips pro-lifers to make the argument against abortion — told CNA that he is “hopeful” Walker will win even if he contributed to a past abortion. 

“At best, it proves that Walker is inconsistent, not that abortion is okay,” Klusendorf said. 

“The pro-life movement is full of women and men with past histories in abortion,” Klusenorf continued. “But suppose that even if they change their views, they remain hypocrites. How does that refute the pro-life argument that it is wrong to intentionally kill innocent human beings?”

“At best, the attack on Walker is a smokescreen,” he added. “How does Walker’s alleged willingness to participate in an abortion demonstrate that the unborn are not human or that killing them is okay?”

(Story continues below)

Abortion not the most important topic to Catholic voters 

On the question of abortion, a plurality of Catholics surveyed in EWTN’s poll — 37.5% — said they believed the procedure should be illegal except in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

As many as 16.0% said that abortion should be legal in all cases. 

However, abortion ranks much lower on a list of the most important topics for voters, according to the poll. Only 6.4% of the state’s likely Catholic voters consider abortion to be the most important topic in this election. The majority — 67.1% — identify the most important problem facing the nation as “economy, jobs, inflation, rising interest rates.” 

Conducted by the Trafalgar Group Oct. 14–18 — just weeks ahead of the midterm election on Nov. 8 — the poll received 576 responses with a 4.1% margin of error and a 95% confidence level. EWTN’s poll surveyed voters in key battleground states as the midterm elections approach.

FiveThirtyEight reported in mid-October that Walker’s abortion allegations may have slightly impacted voters — but these shifts were narrow enough to be within the polls’ margins of error.

Republicans are expected to win Georgia’s gubernatorial race. Most polls show that pro-life Republican candidate for governor Brian Kemp currently leads pro-abortion Democrat Stacey Abrams by an average of 7 percentage points.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.