Augusta District Attorney Jared Williams issued a statement Friday afternoon pledging not to prosecute anyone for having an abortion in light of today’s Supreme Court decision.
Here is his unedited statement:
In the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision today to overturn Roe v. Wade, 83 elected prosecutors from around the nation committed to use their well-established discretion and refuse to prosecute those who seek, assist in or provide abortions, calling the criminalization of abortion care “a mockery of justice.” These elected prosecutors argue in a joint statement that using limited criminal justice resources to prosecute personal healthcare decisions runs counter to their obligation to pursue justice and promote public safety.
The signatories make clear that they approach the issue of abortion from varied personal perspectives, but come together in agreement that enforcing abortion bans is a threat to many in their communities: “
District Attorney Williams was one of the signatories on the statement. Making his office’s stance on this issue very clear, Williams stated earlier:
I fight violent gangs who kill children in the street. I fight abusive parents who put their kids in the hospital. I fight child molesters who prey on our children. Until our community is rid of violent crime and sexual predators, I will not expend our limited resources to prosecute women and their doctors for personal healthcare decisions.
The statement also emphasizes how abortion bans disproportionately harm victims of sexual abuse, rape, incest, human trafficking and domestic violence, and that many anti-abortion laws either do not provide exceptions for victims of sexual violence or force survivors to choose between reporting their assault or carrying a nonconsensual pregnancy to term.
The full statement and list of signatories are available here.