Democratic candidate Julie Gunnigle said she will not enforce the tentative abortion bill if elected to be the County Attorney of Maricopa County, Arizona.
Last week, the Arizona Legislature passed an abortion bill which outlaws abortions after 15 weeks with few exceptions. Governor Doug Ducey has until midnight Saturday to either sign the bill, veto it or allow it to pass into law.
When asked about whether she will prosecute violators if the law goes into effect, Gunnigle answered:
"No, I would not enforce that law."
"Not now, not ever."
"Nobody should be penalized for reproductive healthcare choices including abortion."
When interviewed by 12 News, she stuck to her guns.
People appreciated her honesty and knowledge.
One person posted:
"Thank you, Julie, for explaining prosecutorial discretion."
"It serves both the aims of Justice as well as being a good steward of tax dollars."
"Citizens of MC want their tax dollars prioritized to protect our vulnerable, not to fine me for having an IUD."
Someone else tweeted:
"And before everyone jumps on the 'she can’t do this, she’s supposed to blindly enforce the laws,' look at the everyday decisions of what County prosecutors and the State’s current Attorney General decide to, or not to, prosecute."
"It happens all the time for political purposes."
"Your county attorney should always be working in the interest of justice, and what that means is that no person should ever be made a criminal because of reproductive healthcare choices."
"Let's not pretend that this office is not rooted in discretion."
"The idea is that we are electing a county attorney because of their judgment, and that means that person ought to be prioritizing the cases that matter."
The only exemptions written into the bill at this time are for medical emergencies.
The democratic candidate gained considerable support for her hard stance against the legislation, from in and out of the state.
In light of her announcement, the Arizona branch of Planned Parenthood Advocates put out a statement fully endorsing Gunnigle.
"PPAA is proud to announce our endorsement of Julie Gunnigle for Maricopa County Attorney."
"Gunnigle is a local attorney and activist who continues to fight for reproductive freedom, justice in our criminal legal system, and funding in our public schools."
In just 24 hours, Gunnigle achieved all the signatures required to get her name on the ballot.
In her second race for the seat, many are hopeful she will prevail.