Shouldn’t this prosecutor be fired, too?

In the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade, a state judge has reinstated Arizona’s pre-statehood abortion law, which reads:

“Arizona Revised Statutes 13-3603

“A person who provides, supplies or administers to a pregnant woman, or procures such woman to take any medicine, drugs or substance, or uses or employs any instrument or other means whatever, with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage of such woman, unless it is necessary to save her life, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for not less than two years nor more than five years.”

That’s pretty straightforward, yes? Now, the only legal abortions in Arizona are those necessary to save the mother’s life. No exceptions for rape or incest.

But wait! Rachel Mitchell, the Maricopa County D.A. (see her profile here), says she’ll “use discretion in prosecuting victims of rape and incest,” according to the Daily Mail, a U.K.-based tabloid (see story here).

Why? Well, Mitchell says she doesn’t want to “revictimize victims,” but the fact she’s a Republican running for election in a Democratic-leaning county may have something to do with it, too.

Prosecutors can do that, i.e. not prosecute someone even when it’s obvious they’ve committed a crime. This is called “prosecutorial discretion.” But Florida Gov. DeSantis just fired an elected prosecutor for saying he won’t prosecute abortion crimes. DeSantis said he wouldn’t allow “this pathogen … of ignoring the law” get a foothold in his state (see story here).

Well, that prosecutor, a Democrat, didn’t do anything this prosecutor, a Republican, is doing, i.e. they both said they won’t enforce their respective states’ abortion laws. So shouldn’t Arizona’s governor fire her?

I guess maybe the difference is that in addition to prosecutorial discretion, there’s also a thing called partisan privilege. In other words, in states with Republican governors, it’s bad only when a Democrat does it.

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