Democratic Arizona AG candidate says she wouldn’t prosecute abortion cases
May 16, 2022, 11:30 AM | Updated: 11:34 am
(Facebook Photo/Kris Mayes for Arizona)
PHOENIX – Arizona’s lone Democratic candidate for attorney general said last week she wouldn’t prosecute abortion cases if Roe vs. Wade gets overturned.
“I am the only candidate for attorney general who is saying, even when Roe falls, and it’s probably going to fall this summer, we will not prosecute women or doctors in the state of Arizona for seeking abortion or providing abortion,” Kris Mayes told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Friday.
Abortion became a major campaign issue across the ballot earlier this month when a draft opinion was leaked suggesting the U.S. Supreme Court was poised to overturn the landmark 1973 ruling that made the procedure a constitutional right. If the high court issues a final ruling consistent with the draft opinion, states would have the power to regulate abortions.
“I will not only use my discretion and not prosecute, but I will also rely on the fact that the Arizona Constitution, article two, section eight, has an express right to privacy,” Mayes said.
“Obviously … this will end up at the Arizona Supreme Court. I understand that, but that is my interpretation of the law.”
Arizona has a 1901 law still on the books that makes it illegal for a doctor to perform an abortion unless it’s necessary to save the mother’s life. And during the current session, Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s health is at risk.
“It’s crazy that we are sitting here in the year 2022 and women are facing a situation where they may have to flee to California or Nevada or New Mexico to seek reproductive care,” Mayes said.
Mayes was a Republican when she served on the Arizona Corporation Commission, but she switched parties in 2019.
“The Republican Party left me and a lot of more moderate Republicans a long time ago,” she said, adding that she thinks the Attorney General’s Office shouldn’t be influenced by party politics.
“I don’t think the party label should matter,” she said. “In fact, I think that whether you’re attorney general or corporation commissioner, you should leave that party identification at the door 100%.”