Maricopa County attorney candidate reaffirms: ‘Not now, not ever’ to enforcing abortion ban

May 6, 2022, 4:00 PM
(Facebook Photo/Julie Gunnigle)...
(Facebook Photo/Julie Gunnigle)
(Facebook Photo/Julie Gunnigle)

PHOENIX –A leaked Supreme Court draft regarding the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade sparked protests and rallies nationwide, but one Maricopa County attorney candidate remains firm on her stance regarding abortions.

“Your Maricopa County attorney should not be criminalizing patients and doctors. Not now, not ever. And how we get to that result is that your county attorney should be entrusted to do justice for the residents of the county, make those smart decisions as to who to hold accountable and how to spend our precious resources,” Democrat candidate Julie Gunningle told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Thursday.

“And criminalizing abortion should never be part of that agenda.”

Gunnigle said in late March that she would not enforce a bill signed by Gov. Doug Ducey that bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Part of the reason Gunnigle is doubling down on her stance is because she doesn’t agree with the way money is spent and believes that should be a topic of discussion.

“If we’re going to start having the Maricopa County attorney and our police departments be the abortion and contraceptive police, I want everybody to keep in mind that’s money that’s coming out from other areas of public safety,” Gunnigle said.

“My priorities, of course, are making sure that women, children and the elderly are protected and that crimes of violence are pursued.”

When it comes to determining when life begins for a fetus in the womb, that’s not for the county attorney to decide, the candidate stressed.

“That’s a religious determination, and guess what? I’m going to fight like hell to ensure that folks have the full gamut of religious liberties and freedom when I’m county attorney,” Gunnigle said. “But what Arizonans don’t want to see is any particular religious viewpoint imposed upon all of us.”

When asked if she felt she may be blurring the line between prosecutorial discretion and her moral stance of the law, she replied, “Not at all.”

“I think I’m being crystal clear and I think that the people of Maricopa County need to know where their candidates stand before they vote on these issues because in the past, our county attorney has been less than forthright about which cases he or she will choose to pursue,” Gunnigle said.

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Maricopa County attorney candidate reaffirms: ‘Not now, not ever’ to enforcing abortion ban