Journalists’ Roundtable: Prop 400, New Arizona Abortion Laws
June 23, 2023
It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another edition of the Journalists’ Roundtable. Joining us for a look at the week’s top stories is Howie Fischer of Capitol Media Services, Jeremy Duda of Axios Phoenix and Mary Jo Pitzl of The Arizona Republic and AZCentral.com.
Top stories this week include:
- Changes to Arizona’s abortion laws
- Proposition 400
A change in how abortion laws will be prosecuted in Arizona
Howie Fischer: “The Governor contends that she has the power to decide that it will be the Attorney General who will prosecute abortion cases, whether it’s the old law that may or may not be enforceable now that bans all personal abortions, the 15-week ban, the ban on late-term abortions. Her argument is with everything up in flux after the Supreme Court overturned Roe, we should have one universal standard for enforcement. The problem with all of that is we have 15 county attorneys who are constitutionally made the chief law enforcement officers in each of their counties.”
Will there be fewer prosecutions for abortions under this new executive order?
Jeremy Duda: “Attorney General Mays and Governor Hobbs are very much kindred spirits on this issue. They campaigned together on this issue last year on abortion rights after the Dobbs decision overturned Roe. It’s unclear to me right now exactly what type of situation could arise in one of these county attorney offices that they would want Chris Mays to preempt. There’s concern more generally about disparate enforcement of the law. Different county attorneys have different interpretations on it. About half are Republicans and half are Democrats. They’re gonna have different views of this.”