A group of elected prosecutors from across the United States announced over the weekend that they would not enforce abortion restrictions in their jurisdictions.
“As elected prosecutors, we took an oath to uphold both the U.S. Constitution and the Constitutions of our individual states. Our U.S. Supreme Court, in deciding Roe v. Wade, determined that every woman has a fundamental right to privacy which is ‘broad enough to encompass a woman’s decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy,'” a statement from the group reads. “As some elected prosecutors have noted, the broad restrictions in the laws passed by these states appear to be unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade.”
The group’s announcement comes in response to a wave of pro-life legislation across the United States. In addition to Alabama’s near-total outlaw of abortion last month, other states including Georgia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Iowa have enacted laws outlawing abortion after the child’s heartbeat has been detected.
“Not all of us agree on a personal or moral level on the issue of abortion,” the statement continues. “What brings us together is our view that as prosecutors we should not and will not criminalize healthcare decisions such as these – and we believe it is our obligation as elected prosecutors charged with protecting the health and safety of all members of our community to make our views clear.”
This group doesn’t look much like a groundswell of resistance from within pro-life jurisdictions, by any stretch. Of the group of 42 officials listed on the document, only three hold office in Georgia, one holds office in Alabama, and one is from Ohio. Others on the list come from states with far more permissive abortion laws, such as New York and California.
“Prosecutors are entrusted with immense discretion. With this discretion, comes the obligation to use it wisely to seek justice,” the group concludes. “And, at the heart of the pursuit of justice, must necessarily be the furtherance of policies and practices that protect the well-being and safety of all members of our community.”