Jun 8, 2019

42 attorneys will not prosecute women who obtain abortions or those who provide care

In this image, two women in bright shirts hug outside of a Planned Parenthood with a large banner that reads "still here."

Pro-choice supporters outside the Planned Parenthood Reproductive Health Services Center in St. Louis, Missouri on May 31, 2019. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Attorneys from Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Texas joined 38 others in a joint declaration that they will not prosecute women who obtain abortions or health-care providers involved in the process as required under some recently enacted abortion laws.

Where it stands: Only 2 of 9 abortion bans across the U.S. are currently in effect, in Utah and Arkansas — where abortions are limited in the middle of the second trimester. Laws in Georgia, Missouri and Alabama call for arresting health-care providers involved in providing access to abortion.

Between the lines: The Alabama lawyer who wrote the state's restrictive abortion ban, Eric Johnston, expected a lawsuit since the ban goes against Roe v. Wade. The ACLU and the Alabama Women's Center sued Alabama over the ban in May, claiming it "directly conflicts with Roe."

What they're saying:

"As some elected prosecutors have noted, the broad restrictions in the laws passed by these states appear to be unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade. Many of us share those legal views, but our commitment to not prosecute women who obtain abortions and health care professionals who provide treatment is not predicated on these concerns alone."
— The attorneys' joint statement, issued through Fair and Just Prosecution

Read the full statement:

Go deeper: Where each state stands if Roe v. Wade is overturned

Editor's note: This story has been updated to indicate that 42 attorneys will not prosecute women who obtain abortions, rather than women who seek the procedure.

Go deeper