Arizona governor signs order barring local prosecutors from handling abortion prosecutions
Democrat Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs delivers her State of the State address at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix on Jan. 9. Hobbs announced Friday that she has signed an executive order that transfers power to file abortion-related charges from local prosecutors to Democrat Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes. Photo by Ross D. Franklin/The Associated Press.
Democrat Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs has signed an executive order that transfers power to file abortion-related charges from local prosecutors to the state’s attorney general.
Hobbs announced Friday that she had signed the June 22 order. Hobbs and Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes are Democrats, and they said in statements they wanted to protect reproductive health care.
Currently, abortions in Arizona are allowed before 15 weeks of pregnancy. A different 1864 law establishes a near total abortion ban in Arizona, according to NPR, but the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled in December 2022 that it can’t be enforced in contravention of the more recent 15-week abortion ban.
Other provisions of the executive order:
- Say county prosecutors could make disparate decisions on abortion prosecutions because of “remaining questions on the application of Arizona’s abortion laws to specific cases.” The state “has an interest in ensuring that abortion laws are applied equally, consistently and predictably,” the order says.
- Generally prevent state agencies from providing information or assistance to other states seeking to impose civil or criminal liability for abortions or abortion aid that would be legal in Arizona.
- Ban extradition to other states in cases that would not be a criminal offense in Arizona “to the extent permissible under Arizona and federal law.”
- Create an Advisory Council on Protecting Reproductive Freedom to make recommendations for expanding access to reproductive health care in the state.
Cathi Herrod of the conservative nonprofit Center for Arizona Policy told the Arizona Republic that she questions whether Hobbs can “strip county attorneys of their ability to do their jobs.”
Hat tip to How Appealing.