Participants hold signs during the Women’s March at the US Supreme Court.
Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for Women’s March Inc
- The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday.
- Many GOP states have already said they plan to ban or limit abortions.
- Several liberal district attorneys in red states have said they won’t enforce bans on abortion.
Liberal district attorneys and other local lawmakers in GOP states that plan to ban abortion say they won’t prosecute those who don’t abide by them, Pew reported.
In Austin, Texas, City Council Member Chito Vela, proposed legislation that would protect abortion rights from prosecution in the city.
“This is not an academic conversation. This is a very real conversation where people’s lives could be destroyed by these criminal prosecutions,” Vela previously told Politico.
Liberal district attorneys in Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin have also said they won’t prosecute abortions, Pew reported.
The city council, alongside mayor Regina Romero in Tuscon, Arizona passed a resolution pushing back on a state law criminalizing abortion after 15 weeks. The resolution instructed law enforcement to create policies that “consider the need to protect the physical, psychological, and socioeconomic wellbeing of pregnant people and their care providers.”
Anti-abortion legislators have also said they’d work to prevent liberal district attorney’s from not prosecuting abortion. In Texas, A GOP lawmaker said he’d introduce legislation next year that would allow district attorneys to prosecute outside their jurisdiction, The Texas Tribune reported.
However, some abortion advocates have said that despite these promises that abortion won’t be prosecuted, providers may still not feel comfortable performing them.
“Local officials who are willing to stand up and make clear where their values are and make clear that these bans will be harmful is an important step,” Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health, told Pew. “But I can’t say that it would give me enough confidence if I were a provider.”
Dr. Jamila Perritt, president and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health, told Pew that while she appreciates statements by some DA’s not to prosecute, “everything is so unclear at this point that we as physicians don’t know what is going to happen when the rubber hits the road and these laws take effect.”