In a very blunt op-ed piece for the Washington Post, a current female district attorney from North Carolina and a Commonwealth Attorney in Virginia drew a line in the sand for anti-choice lawmakers by informing them that they will make the judgement on whether they will comply with the draconian abortion laws that are being passed by conservative legislatures.
Under a headline, "We are prosecutors. We will use our discretion on new antiabortion laws," Satana Deberry a district attorney of Durham County, N.C. Stephanie Morales is the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Portsmouth, Va. and Miriam Aroni Krinsky, the executive director of Fair and Just Prosecution stated their case.
"We are women, mothers of daughters and criminal-justice leaders who collectively have spent nearly 25 years as prosecutors. From each of these perspectives, we have seen friends, loved ones and victims struggle with the impact of trauma, and we are well aware of the vitally important role that elected prosecutors play in protecting the health and safety of all members of our communities," the op-ed geb gan. "Today, this shared experience brings us together with deep concerns stemming from recent laws which seek to criminalize personal decisions around abortion, and thereby create untenable health-care choices for women, crime victims and medical professionals."
Noting the rise of anti-choice legislation being pushed through in conservative states, the three women claimed they will not enforce laws that are clearly unconstitutional.
"In the face of laws that are not only unconstitutional but also endanger members of their community and may re-traumatize victims of crime, elected prosecutors have two options: They can courageously lead and make clear that they refuse to use their discretion to criminalize women and health-care providers, or they can sit back in silence and acquiesce in the erosion of fundamental rights of members of their community," they wrote before bluntly stating "We choose the former."
"Some may argue it is a prosecutor’s obligation to prosecute all laws and that only legislators are charged with making these 'policy' decisions. We don’t see the role of prosecutors elected by their communities through this narrow lens. With thousands of laws on the books, elected prosecutors use their discretion every day in deciding how to wisely and justly allocate resources to promote enforcement of laws that will have the greatest effect on advancing public safety. To do so, they necessarily decline to prosecute certain laws — such as those that criminalize substance-use disorder or adultery — which do not serve the interests of justice," the piece continues before leaving no doubt where they stand.
"There are many ways prosecutors can use the rule of law to make communities safer and healthier — but trampling upon decades-old legal precedent to put women and doctors in jail for seeking or performing a legal medical procedure is simply not one of them. Prosecutors must use their voices and, more importantly, their discretion to ensure these laws do not infringe upon the fundamental rights of members of their communities," the op-ed concluded.
You can read the whole thng here.