Press Contact: Beth Merachnik
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Association of Prosecuting Attorneys
RESPONSE TO SUPREME COURT’S DECISION IN DOBBS
The Supreme Court’s decision today in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is a catastrophic blow to individual liberty and the right to reproductive healthcare as some state laws criminalizing abortion will force individuals to continue pregnancies.
Access to reproductive healthcare, including abortions is essential and has been established precedent for decades. This precedent allowed individuals to seek medical advice to decide what is best for their bodies and their lives without fear of being criminally prosecuted. It has been estimated that one in four women will have an abortion by age 45.
“This decision thrusts prosecutors into the public health arena, a place that we do not belong,” said David LaBahn, President and CEO of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys.“ Prosecutors are not medical professionals and are committed to public safety. Forcing prosecutors to confront personal healthcare decisions will undermine the legitimacy of the criminal justice system.” See Statement of Prosecutors here
The Constitutional Right to Abortion has now been stripped away. Approximately twenty-six states have pending laws that criminalize abortion providers or even individuals seeking care. The coming weeks will determine which of these state laws will take effect thereby creating uncertainty throughout our nation. The consequences of these laws are enormous, and will severely impact the health and well-being of pregnant individuals as the United States suffers the highest maternal mortality rate among developed countries. For Black Women, the maternal mortality rate is nearly three times higher than for White Women and the Supreme Court’s decision allows states to enforce criminal laws that will widen existing disparities for Women of Color, Women facing economic challenges, rural-based Women and LGBTQ+ individuals, among others, causing irreparable harm.
The Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (APA) is a national non-profit whose mission is to support and enhance the effectiveness of prosecutors in their efforts to create safer communities. APA is made up of elected and appointed prosecuting attorneys from throughout the nation and provides valuable resources such as training and technical assistance to prosecutors to develop proactive and innovative prosecutorial practices that prevent crime, ensure equal justice, and help make our communities safer. APA is committed to the pursuit of justice in whatever form best serves the community. This may include legal proceedings against those who would hurt a child or helping an individual complete a diversion program. APA’s focus is on preventing recidivism and providing rehabilitation and successful re-entry. Through multi-disciplinary forums APA creates an optimal environment to foster justice and affect change in the community.