Maricopa County’s Mitchell rips Hobbs for stripping county attorneys from prosecuting abortions

Jun 28, 2023, 4:31 PM

(Facebook Screenshot/Maricopa County Attorney's Office)...

(Facebook Screenshot/Maricopa County Attorney's Office)

(Facebook Screenshot/Maricopa County Attorney's Office)

PHOENIX — Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell on Wednesday condemned an executive order issued by Gov. Katie Hobbs last week that stripped county attorneys of prosecuting abortion-related crimes, calling the move a power grab meant for political gain.

“It was a procedural manipulation aimed at a highly emotional topic done to win political points,” Mitchell said during a press conference.

The order, dated Thursday, gives the prosecutorial authority on the issue solely to the attorney general, who is currently Democrat Kris Mayes.

That means Mitchell and the state’s 14 other county attorneys don’t have power over the cases, which Mitchell said have never popped up in Maricopa County.

Mitchell, a Republican, said the collection of county attorneys are reviewing their options and wouldn’t comment on the legality of the order.

“The enforcement, or lack thereof, should not be used for political gain,” Mitchell said.

Hobbs said the order, which also directs state agencies to not assist in investigations by other states into crimes related to reproductive health care that would not be punishable under Arizona law, is airtight legally.

The Democratic governor’s announcement was the continuation of a week of focus on reproductive freedom during Pride Month.

“We are very confident in the legal foundation of the order,” Hobbs said Thursday in a press conference. “If anyone doesn’t share the same confidence in the legal foundation of that order, they have a path: they can go to court.”

Mitchell said she’s heard concerns from both sides of the aisle, particularly on the overreach of executive powers.

“Our current governor took an entire category of potential offenses and is attempting to prevent locally elected county attorneys from reviewing and making charging decisions in those matters,” Mitchell said.

“But what happens next? What happens in 3 1/2 years? What happens when another person occupies the governor’s seat and attempts this type of power grab?”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

picture of end of roll of caution tape...

Tucson woman sentenced to 20 years after running woman over multiple times

Yvette Naomi Garcia was sentenced to 20 years in prison after she pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Friday.

9 minutes ago

(Trevor's Liquor photo)...

Wills Rice

Trevor’s Liquor to open 4th location in late 2024 at Paradise Valley Mall

Trevor's Liquor announced it will be opening its fourth location in late 2024 in the Paradise Valley Mall redevelopment.

1 hour ago

Medical school students...

Brandon Gray

Gov. Katie Hobbs announces $11M investment in to state’s health care workforce

Gov. Katie Hobbs announced Friday the state will invest $11 million into the Arizona Board of Regents' AZ Healthy Tomorrow Initiative. 

3 hours ago

Iraq War veteran Sgt. Brent Bretz was selected for a new home by the by the Helping a Hero Project....

Iraq War veteran injured in explosion gifted with an adapted home in Gilbert

Iraq War veteran who lost both of his legs in an explosion was given a new home in Gilbert through the Helping a Hero program.

4 hours ago

Booking photo of Eric Donald Jones and a stock image of a house on fire. Jones, a former Chandler f...

Former Chandler firefighter sentenced to 10.5 years for setting ex-girlfriend’s house on fire

A former Chandler firefighter was sentenced to 10 1/2 years in prison for setting an ex-girlfriend's house on fire two years ago.

6 hours ago

Graphic of cyber crime yellow tape. Pinal County, Arizona, schools confirmed their data processing ...

Ford Hatchett/ABC15 Arizona

Payroll issues: Ransomware attack impacts 21 Pinal County school districts

Pinal County schools confirmed their data processing service was attacked recently, putting paychecks in jeopardy for some employees.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.



Importance of AC maintenance after Arizona’s excruciating heat wave

An air conditioning unit in Phoenix is vital to living a comfortable life inside, away from triple-digit heat.



When most diets fail, re:vitalize makes a difference that shows

Staying healthy and losing weight are things many people in Arizona are conscious of, especially during the summer.

Maricopa County’s Mitchell rips Hobbs for stripping county attorneys from prosecuting abortions