'We Need More DAs Standing Up Like This': Georgia Prosecutors Vow Not to Charge Women Under State's Unconstitutional Abortion Ban

Women in Georgia’s four largest counties may be protected from the state’s recently-passed six-week abortion ban—which has been condemned as part of the Republican Party’s recent ramped-up attack on reproductive rights—even if the law goes into effect next year.

The district attorneys of DeKalb, Cobb, Gwinnett, and Fulton counties all told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Monday that they have no intention of prosecuting women who obtain abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, citing concerns with the constitutionality of the so-called Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act (H.B. 481).

DeKalb D.A. Sherry Boston said the law is rife with “ambiguity and constitutional concerns,” adding that she could not in good conscience prosecute women for obtaining abortion care—”otherwise currently a legal medical procedure,” she said, which has been legal in the U.S. up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, since 1973.

“As a woman and mother, I am concerned about the passage and attempted passage of laws such as this one in Georgia, Alabama, and other states,” Boston told the Journal-Constitution.

Critics of H.B. 481 were horrified earlier this month when state lawmakers passed the bill and Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed it into law. Civil rights groups vowed to challenge the law in court, and abortion rights advocates say the GOP is passing increasingly extreme anti-choice restrictions in the hopes of convincing the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe vs. Wade.

Even though implementation may be delayed, women’s rights advocates are still warning against allowing H.B. 481 to go into effect, especially considering its suggestion that women who obtain abortion care after six weeks could be prosecuted.

According to state Rep. Ed Setzler, the lead sponsor of H.B. 481, under the law, “women, doctors, nurses and pharmacists can be prosecuted under Georgia’s criminal abortion statute, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, ” reported the Journal-Constitution.