12 attorneys general say recent abortion bans 'appear to be unconstitutional'

12 attorneys general say recent abortion bans 'appear to be unconstitutional'
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Attorneys general for 11 states and the District of Columbia signed a joint statement saying they will not criminalize abortions and that recent abortion bans "appear to be unconstitutional."

The Fair and Just prosecution statement was signed by the attorneys general of California, Vermont, Minnesota, Nevada, Maryland, Massachusetts, Delaware, Michigan, D.C., Illinois, Oregon and Pennsylvania. It was also signed by elected prosecutors in several states, including some whose governments have recently passed abortion bans. 

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Prosecutors who said they will not prosecute abortion cases under the new laws include those from Jefferson County, Ala.; DeKalb County, Ga.; Georgia's Macon Judicial Circuit; Fulton County, Ga.; and Columbus, Ohio. 

"As some elected prosecutors have noted, the broad restrictions in the laws passed by these states appear to be unconstitutional under Roe v. Wade," they said in the statement issued by Fair and Just Prosecution

"What brings us together is our view that as prosecutors we should not and will not criminalize healthcare decisions such as these," they added. 

They also note limited resources in the criminal justice system in the statement. 

"In our view, resources are better utilized to prevent and address serious crimes that impact our community rather than enforcing laws such as these that divide our community, create untenable choices for women and healthcare providers, and erode trust in the justice system," they said. 

In recent weeks, several Republican-controlled state governments have passed laws banning abortion around six weeks into pregnancy. Alabama's governor last month signed a bill into law that would ban almost all abortions.