By S. Priana Aquino
SAN FRANCISCO, CA — San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin announced this week that a group of nearly 100 current and former elected prosecutors, and law enforcement leaders filed an amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that comes at a time when Texas closed abortion clinics statewide.
In Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the Supreme Court will consider Mississippi’s pre-viability abortion ban that outlaws abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The implementation of this ban would effectively overturn the decisions dictated in the Roe v Wade case. Further, it would allow criminal laws in at least 18 other states to go into effect that would threaten prosecution of people who seek abortions as well as their healthcare providers.
“Promoting public safety includes protecting women and all people’s rights to control their bodies and access critical public health. District attorneys are tasked with protecting the public—not using their power to prosecute women for exercising their right to choose,” said DA Boudin, one of the signatories to the amicus brief.
The signers urged the Court to respect the precedent set by Roe v. Wade by preventing the potential criminalization of abortion and personal healthcare decisions.
They wrote that overturning Roe v. Wade would “erode public trust, undermine the legitimacy and efficacy of law enforcement and prosecutorial officials, and divert limited criminal justice resources that could otherwise be used to . . . promote public safety” across the country.
“Abortion access is a well-settled constitutional right, and upending that right after five decades of settled law would be an incredible intrusion on individual choice and a threat to public safety,” said Miriam Krinsky, Executive Director of Fair and Just Prosecution, the organization that coordinated the brief.
“Overturning Roe v. Wade would not end abortions; it would simply increase the risk of unsafe and unsupervised procedures for millions of people, putting poor women and women of color most at risk,” Krinsky said.
The signatories note that overturning Roe would effect “the safety and well-being of entire communities will suffer.”
They encourage the Court to “decline to embroil our law enforcement institutions in a personal and divisive issue that will detract from the ability of law enforcement and criminal justice leaders to work with and seek the cooperation of the community in our joint effort to promote public safety.”
“We know what happens when abortion is criminalized; those with means will continue to safely access abortion through travel but those women who are most vulnerable will suffer grave risks to their health and safety to access abortion illegally,” says Boudin.
“I join other criminal justice leaders across the country in urging the Court to protect Roe, promote public safety, and prevent the further erosion of abortion access,” Boudin added.