Detroit-area prosecutor says she won’t prosecute abortion providers

Associated Press/Carlos Osorio

A Detroit-area prosecutor said on Tuesday that she would not be charging abortion providers in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade.

“I don’t see that I have a choice. I am not going to prosecute physicians for providing health care and needed procedures to patients. I’m not going to do that,” Oakland County, Mich., Prosecutor Karen McDonald said on CNN’s “Early Start.”

McDonald last week signed a statement along with dozens of prosecutors vowing not to enforce abortion bans in their states.

She explained on CNN that her office had limited resources, noting its involvement in the prosecution of a school shooting that took place in late November at Oxford High School that left four people dead and others injured. 

She added that she did not believe prosecutions would stop abortions from taking place for those who could afford to travel elsewhere.

“This is health care. I believe in a woman’s right to choose. I believe the people in my county believe in that — the people who elected me to this office and … to be quite honest, I don’t think I could keep assistant prosecutors in my office if that’s what I decided to do,” she said. 

The development comes as a patchwork of states have quickly instituted abortion bans after the Supreme Court on Friday ruled to eliminate the constitutional right to an abortion.

More than 80 prosecutors have pledged not to enforce those bans, putting some at odds with laws on the books in their states where bans are in place. 

A temporary injunction is already in place in Michigan against a 1931 abortion law, which effectively bans the medical procedure except when “necessary to preserve the life of” the patient. Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) last week filed a motion for the state Supreme Court to quickly take up her lawsuit against the abortion law.

Tags Gretchen Whitmer Karen McDonald

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