Now that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed the heartbeat bill into law, which would prevent women from obtaining abortions after six weeks, district attorneys in the Atlanta metro area have made a pact: they will not prosecute women who decide to have an abortion. The only exception to the new abortion law is if a mother's health is at risk, or a police report is on file showing rape or incest took place.
“DA Howard has no intention of ever prosecuting a woman under this new law,” Chris Hopper, director of public affairs for Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard, told 11 Alive News.
“… this office will not be prosecuting any women under the new law as long as I’m District Attorney,” Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter said.
DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston shared similar sentiments, saying she plans to uphold Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal in the United States.
“This law obviously sets out to criminalize abortion in the State of Georgia. The question is – who will be held criminally responsible? The law, as written, is either silent or ambiguous, at best, on this question,” Boston said in a statement.
“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,” she wrote. “I believe it is a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her own body and medical care, including, but not limited to, seeking an abortion, as upheld by the United States Supreme Court.”
Cobb County District Attorney John Melvin told CBS 46 he would “absolutely not” charge women who seek to have an abortion but he would look at prosecuting abortion providers on a case-by-case basis.
Under the new law, women cannot be prosecuted for receiving an abortion but providers can face criminal charges.
Editor's note: additional details have been added to this article to clear up DA Melvin's position on prosecution.