Washtenaw County Prosecutor vows to protect reproductive rights amid Texas abortion ruling

Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit. (Eli Savit)

ANN ARBOR – Washtenaw County Prosecutor Eli Savit took to Twitter on Thursday morning with a message for his constituents concerning the Supreme Court’s recent decision to uphold a new abortion ban in Texas.

In a 5-4 vote, the decision is seen as a major blow to progress made in abortion and reproductive rights since the Supreme Court’s landmark Roe V. Wade decision to legalize abortions nationwide in 1973.

The Texas ban prohibits abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy, or once a fetal heartbeat is detected, at a point when many women don’t know they’re pregnant. Cases of rape or incest receive no exceptions under the new law.

“Let me be abundantly clear,” Savit tweeted. “We won’t prosecute that. As long as I hold office, we will never, ever prosecute any person for exercising reproductive freedom.”

According to the Washington Post, 85% to 90% of abortions in Texas are performed after six weeks, meaning nearly all abortions in the state could be blocked.

The new law, which allows private citizens to serve anyone who provides or facilitates an abortion with a civil lawsuit, went into effect on Wednesday at midnight.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Sonia Sotomayor called the court’s order “stunning” and the ban a “flagrantly unconstitutional law.” She said “a majority of justices have opted to bury their heads in the sand.”

Legal challenges to the law are ongoing.