Pennsylvania DA announces he won’t prosecute abortions after Roe v. Wade falls
PITTSBURGH, July 11, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A Democrat prosecutor in Pennsylvania has announced that he has no intention of prosecuting abortions if and when the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that forced states to allow abortion-on-demand.
“I am pro-choice and do not feel that it is appropriate for government to legislate the choices that women make regarding their own bodies,” Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen Zappala said Tuesday, WPXI reports. “Therefore, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, I will not prosecute any women, medical professionals or providers for the administration of safe abortion services.”
“I am honored to continue that work on behalf of our mothers and daughters in service to the communities of Allegheny County,” he continued. Zappala, who has served as DA for 20 years, faces re-election in 2019.
The statement comes in light of President Donald Trump’s announcement of Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to replace the retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court. Speculation is currently running rampant on both sides as to whether Kavanaugh would vote to overturn Roe, in what may be the first clear pro-life majority the court has ever had.
It’s unclear what purpose Zappala’s declaration serves beyond signaling his pro-abortion stance. Pennsylvania is not among the ten states with a pre-Roe abortion ban still on the books, and pro-abortion Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf has said he would veto a new ban, so there is currently no abortion prohibition Zappala would be called to enforce.
A spokeswoman told the Associated Press that as a pro-abortion officeholder, Zappala wanted voters in his district to “know how he would handle the situation.” The statements did not clarify whether Zappala was referring solely to Roe, or if he would enforce or defy a duly-enacted, state-level abortion ban.
The abortion lobby is currently taking action to insulate abortion-on-demand from a hypothetical case overturning it. Democrats in Massachusetts recently moved to repeal the state’s pre-Roe abortion ban, New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called for codifying Roe’s requirements in state law, and pro-life activist Rebecca Kiessling warns that pro-abortion groups in states like Iowa, North Dakota, and Minnesota are filing lawsuits claiming a “right” to abortion rooted in state constitutions rather than Roe v. Wade.