Gunnigle says Mitchell stance on abortion law creates more confusion in Maricopa County
PHOENIX — Democratic candidate Julie Gunnigle believes acting Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell’s stance on how to enforce abortion law in light of Roe v. Wade being overturned has only caused more confusion.
Mitchell on Tuesday held a press conference where she said it was possible she wouldn’t prosecute an abortion case that resulted from rape or incest.
Gunnigle said Mitchell, the Republican appointed to the role April 20, should have flatly said she would not prosecute rape or incest abortion cases.
“I think the recent statement by the county attorney, especially about rape and incest, only raise more questions that are unanswered and one more reason why we shouldn’t let politicians be making these reproductive choices on behalf of Arizona,” Gunnigle told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday.
Mitchell, who also appeared on The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday, cited the pre-statehood law that makes performing any abortion illegal unless it’s necessary to save the mother’s life.
Attorney General Mark Brnovich said Wednesday the 1901 law is supreme in the state.
Some women’s health providers in Arizona halted abortions following Friday’s Supreme Court ruling.
“We’re not about the business of re-victimizing victims,” Mitchell said. “And those are situations if they come in involving a provider that we would look at in terms of reasonable likelihood of conviction and prosecutorial discretion.”
Gunnigle said she would have preferred a more pointed response from Mitchell.
“What I would have liked to see from the county attorney is acknowledging that there’s an uncertainty and that she intends to maybe exercise her discretion until there’s clarity from the courts and from the Legislature,” Gunnigle said.