Council wants abortion prosecution to be ‘lowest priority’

June 28, 2022 GMT

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A resolution calling on police and prosecutors in New Orleans to make investigations and prosecutions of abortions “the lowest priority for enforcement” was introduced Tuesday by three New Orleans City Council members.

The resolution by council members Helena Moreno, Lesli Harris and J.P. Morrell is directed at city departments including the sheriff and the district attorney. It calls on abortion cases to be given priority only when a woman has been coerced or forced into an abortion, when negligent conduct threatens a woman’s health or when an abortion is involved in the investigation of another crime.

It also lists purposes for which city funds should not be spent, including surveillance or investigations of people or organizations to determine whether an abortion has occurred.

A council news release says the resolution will be considered July 7. It follows Friday’s Supreme Court decision allowing states to outlaw abortion. District Attorney Jason Williams has said he “will not shift priorities” from prosecuting violent crime to abortion.

Louisiana law has “trigger” provisions that were written to outlaw most abortions once the high court reversed the Roe v. Wade decision that established abortion rights. A state district judge in New Orleans blocked enforcement pending a July hearing.