Maricopa County Prosecutor Rachel Mitchell said she will not prosecute women who have abortions after a Pima County judge banned them in Arizona.
Mitchell ruled out prosecuting women who have abortions in a video statement shared Tuesday following Pima County Superior Court Judge Kellie Johnson’s ruling last week.
The ruling overturned a 1973 court order opposing the state’s ban on abortion and restored Arizona’s law before statehood. According to ABC 15, abortion is now illegal in the state except in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
Arizona first outlawed abortion in 1864 and codified it in 1901, but Roe v. Wade made the law unenforceable from 1973 until earlier this year.
Mitchell said in her statement, “If no further guidance has been provided by the courts or the legislature by that time, my office will seek guidance from the court before taking any action.”
“This is needed before a decision can be made on the case. I know this is a very emotionally charged issue and I want the community to know that I will not prosecute women for abortions and no law even suggests that a woman will ever be prosecuted for her decision. “
She added, “Similarly, I will not re-sacrifice survivors of rape, incest or molestation. I’ve spent my career defending people who suffered these crimes.
“Falsely speaking about the law or my position to incite fear for political purposes is simply irresponsible.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 13,097 abortions in Arizona in 2019. It added that only 67 of these had been performed by out-of-state residents.
Following Judge Johnson’s ruling, Planned Parenthood, Arizona President Brittany Fonteno issued a scathing response to the reinstatement of the 1864 Abortion Act.
She said in a Sept. 26 statement, “Planned Parenthood Arizona is seeking an immediate overturn of the Pima County Supreme Court ruling overturning the injunction against the 1864 state ban on abortion.
“The court’s decision put conflicting laws into effect and created immediate confusion about the status of abortion access in Arizona, even among our state’s highest elected officials.
“This confusion has forced Planned Parenthood Arizona to suspend abortion services and cancel appointments scheduled for this week, meaning members of our community have again been and will be denied the medical care they deserve and need while this decision is in effect.” is .
“This is unacceptable. As such, Planned Parenthood Arizona is asking the court to stay its decision as the court case continues to evolve and as we continue to seek clarity for our patients and providers.”
The Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Knocking out Wade added new momentum to the upcoming midterm elections in November.
His decision has shaken Democrats, who are now struggling to maintain control of the Senate while undermining Republican leadership.
Meanwhile, abortion has been brought to the fore in Arizona’s close race for governor, giving Democrats a clear line of attack against Republican opponents.
Arizona’s Democratic governor hit out at her Republican opponent in a tweet Tuesday.
She said, “Kari Lake doubled down on her support for the draconian 1901 total abortion ban and showed exactly what kind of future she envisions for Arizona.
“One where an entire generation of Arizonans doesn’t control their own health care. We deserve better.”
While Lake did not comment on Pima County’s ruling as of Tuesday, she previously stated her support for the Roe v Wade crackdown.
In a June 24 tweet, Lake said, “Roe v. Wade and the abortion culture are over. A new chapter of life has begun. A chapter where we help women become the mothers they are meant to be. Thank you God. “
According to poll aggregator FiveThirtyEight, 60 percent of Americans believe first-trimester abortion should be legal. But support for abortions drops to 28 percent when performed in the second trimester.
news week asked Lake for comment.
https://www.newsweek.com/arizona-attorney-rachel-mitchell-says-she-wont-enforce-abortion-ban-1746959 Arizona attorney Rachel Mitchell says she will not enforce the abortion ban