Blue-city prosecutors in red states vow not to press charges over abortions

Source: Politico | June 26, 2022 | Joseph Gedeon

They’re part of a coalition of district attorneys promising to protect those seeking and providing abortions in the wake of the Dobbs ruling.

Dozens of elected prosecutors across the country — including a number representing blue cities nestled inside red states — are pledging to not press charges against patients or providers over abortion in the wake of Friday’s Supreme Court ruling giving states full control over abortion policy.

So far, 84 district attorneys and other prosecutors from 29 states and territories and Washington, D.C., have signed the statement distributed by Fair and Just Prosecution. Altogether, the officials represent jurisdictions covering 87 million Americans, according to the organization.

Significantly, the signatories include district attorneys in states like Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Texas — all Republican-controlled states with abortion “trigger bans” set to activate within a month, now that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade. Other prosecutors have also joined in via public statements online.


And while blue-city local prosecutors can choose what actions they do or don’t want to take, some states have the power to step in instead.

“If a local prosecutor says they won’t bring these cases and the attorney general disagrees with that, depending on the state, they may have the power to take the cases away and pursue them,” said University of North Carolina law professor Carissa Byrne Hessick, the director of the Prosecutors and Politics Project. “And in states where they don’t already have the power, they can simply pass a law that allows them to do that.”


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