For Maricopa County Interim Attorney Rachel Mitchell and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, it is perfectly reasonable to enforce Pre Statehood Arizona Abortion Laws from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries on women and their physicians in 2022.
At a press conference on Tuesday, Ms. Mitchell, clearly with an eye to the both the fringe base and suburban voters in Maricopa County, attempted to have it both ways and stated:
“There is a law on the books in Arizona (from 1901) that says that abortion is illegal…This is an extremely difficult issue, it is extremely emotional on both sides and people feel very strongly about it…My role is to enforce the law and to look at cases as they come to me and make a decision and follow the ethical charging standard that we apply to every case, which is the reasonable likelihood of conviction…I’ve prosecuted sex crimes for 25 years, I’ve had a number of victims that have got pregnant either through molest, incest-type situations or just molest situations as well as sexual assault and I am not about the business of revictimizing victims.”
In his posting on social media, Mr. Brnovich would not even provide the wiggle room Mitchell appeared to be alluding to for victims of rape and incest. He just said the law restricting abortions from the nineteenth century is now the law of the state.
Our office has concluded the Arizona Legislature has made its intentions clear regarding abortion laws. pic.twitter.com/jvjKXaXKwd
— Mark Brnovich (@GeneralBrnovich) June 29, 2022
That is the problem with the current vintage of the former Party of Lincoln.
Many of its current members want to live in a time they consider the good old days when women, people with no property, children, LGBTQ members, and minorities had little to no civil rights.
Gunnigle and Mayes React to the Mitchell and Brnovich positions.
The Democratic candidates for Maricopa County Attorney and Attorney General did not take long to blast the reactionary positions of both Mitchell and Brnovich.
Maricopa County Attorney Candidate Julie Gunnigle issued a statement which read:
“Chaotic, cruel and impractical – this is the only way to describe recent statements by the Arizona Attorney General and the interim Maricopa County Attorney. In deciding to impose a total abortion ban from 1864, the Attorney General is taking Arizonan’s rights backwards 158 years. Meanwhile, the interim County Attorney is creating confusion and fear by claiming the injunction does not apply to Maricopa County, yet also refusing to explain in any real terms how victims would go about obtaining her personal permission to seek abortion services after rape or incest. The cruelty and ineptitude of my opponent’s constant flip-flops and dodges show how unfit she is to handle the responsibilities of this office. I have been crystal clear since Day One that I will never prosecute doctors or pregnant people for abortion. End of story. Every person has a right to their own private and personal healthcare decisions without having to navigate a mysterious, legally-untenable process of seeking personal permission from politicians.”
Attorney General Candidate Kris Mayes, appearing with Senate Democratic Leader Rebecca Rios and two University of Arizona physicians outside Mr. Brnovich’s office held a press conference yesterday (June 30, 2022.)
Ms. Mayes commented:
“This man, Mark Brnovich, just took us back to 1901. 1901. This should outrage everyone. It certainly outrages me. This law is about controlling women. Attempting to control our bodily autonomy. Punishing those who help us attain it – whether it’s a doctor who provides abortions, or a pharmacist filling a prescription. And basically, this action by Mark Brnovich brings us crashing back to the time when this oppressive and cruel law was written.
Mark Brnovich – and those right wing extremists who agree with him – have waged war against Arizona women and our healthcare providers.
This cannot stand. This will cause irreparable harm to our families, to our economy, to our businesses and to our healthcare providers. But most of all – this will harm women – and especially those women who already face numerous barriers to equitable healthcare.
In a state that has so many critical issues, the extreme right has chosen to make imprisonment of its medical professionals who provide reproductive healthcare their big priority! Mark Brnovich’s vision for Arizona includes putting doctors and pharmacists in prison for up to five years. And at a time, when families are already struggling to make ends meet, Mark Brnovich and the extreme right are forcing women to flee our state to seek reproductive care.
At a time when one in four Arizona children face hunger, Mark Brnovich and the extreme right are forcing women into dangerous situations if they miscarry or have other complications with their pregnancies. At a time, when maternal mortality rates in our country outpace all other industrialized nations, Mark Brnovich and the extreme right’s answer is to lock up our doctors and completely ban abortions. The extreme right clearly does not care about women at all.
NOT ON MY WATCH.
As your next Attorney General, I will absolutely not allow the arrest or imprisonment of our reproductive healthcare providers, including doctors, nurses, PAs, midwives, pharmacists or others. I will implement my 12-point plan to protect our reproductive rights, including the right to access abortion safely, as well as protection of our privacy on day one when I’m elected.
Indeed Brnovich isn’t just cruel – he’s a terrible lawyer. The Arizona Constitution – and in particular Article 2, Section 8, contains an express right to privacy, which makes each and every one of these abortion bans unlawful. When I am sworn in as the next Attorney General, it will be my duty to uphold the highest law in Arizona, which is our Constitution.
This effort by radical right wing elected officials to deny women autonomy over their own bodies is outrageous. The government does not belong in these most private decisions. Not now – not ever.
We need to fight. We need to VOTE. And most importantly, we need to win – to stop this assault on our lives, our bodies and once again be able to control our own destinies.”
As Ms. Mayes pointed out, there are people suffering in this state.
They either are sleeping on the street.
Or have no food to eat.
Or baby formula.
Or health care.
If Republicans really cared about life, why do they consistently vote against legislation that will help people the most after they are born.
It would be better for everyone to focus on creating policies that will help people and enhance their civil rights rather than ignoring those in need and taking their constitutional liberties away.