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Allegheny

Zappala won't prosecute those who seek, perform abortions if Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade

Megan Guza
| Tuesday, July 10, 2018, 1:12 p.m.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.
Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr.

Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. responded to President Trump’s Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh by promising not to prosecute doctors who perform abortions or individuals who seek them should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

“I am pro-choice and do not feel that it is appropriate for government to legislate the choices that women make regarding their own bodies,” Zappala said in a prepared statement. “Therefore, if Roe v. Wade is overturned, I will not prosecute any women, medical professionals or providers for the administration of safe abortion services.”

Kavanaugh would replace outgoing Justice Anthony Kennedy, who has been a swing vote in favor of abortion rights.

In his 2006 confirmation hearing to become a federal judge, Kavanaugh said, “I would follow Roe v. Wade faithfully and fully” because it’s “binding precedent” that has been “reaffirmed many times.” Yet there’s little doubt that Kavanaugh, a solidly conservative, politically connected judge, would shift the nation’s highest court further to the right.

And some, including Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, have said they fear that would threaten abortion rights and the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

Zappala is up for re-election in 2019.

The Associated Press contributed.

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