NORFOLK, Va. — After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, rolling back federal abortion protection, Norfolk Commonwealth's Attorney Ramin Fatehi said he is one of 85 elected prosecutors who will not prosecute abortion cases.
"As the Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Norfolk, our chief minister of justice, I will never prosecute a person who seeks or has an abortion that would have been legal under Roe," Fatehi said in a statement on Twitter. "Because, in the end, what is right has not changed."
Fair and Just Prosecution organized a joint statement that 85 elected prosecutors, including Fatehi, signed.
The statement explained that those who signed will use their well-established discretion, and refuse to prosecute those who seek, assist in or provide abortions.
The statement, signed by prosecutors from 29 states, is agreed upon by elected prosecutors who collectively represent 89 million people. 27 million of those people are from 12 states where abortion is now banned or likely to be banned, the statement said.
The statement also notes that, "abortion bans disproportionately harm victims of sexual abuse, rape, incest, human trafficking and domestic violence." It goes on to explain, "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 an unwanted pregnancy to term."
"We knew months ago that six unelected, out-of-touch, Republican-appointed Supreme Court justices — five of them men — planned to destroy the fundamental right to an abortion," Fatehi said.
"It is still a demoralizing shock to see them make it official," he said.