Utah prosecutor says he won't enforce strict abortion law

Posted Wednesday, 15 May 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

SALT LAKE CITY — As Utah defends its strict new abortion ban against a court challenge, the chief prosecutor overseeing the county with the state's only two clinics has said he won't enforce the measure. The decision announced Tuesday by Democratic Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill marks the latest example of an official resisting such laws passed by states around the country. Gill said the Utah ban on abortions after 18 weeks appears unconstitutional, so filing felony charges against doctors who perform them as the court challenge plays out could violate their rights. "I think that's the only legal and ethical thing for me to do, which is not use the power of my office to violate the constitutional rights of my citizens when there is well-established precedent that says it is unconstitutional," he said. The decision by Gill and another from the attorney general of Michigan came as more GOP-leaning states around the U.S. pass increasingly restrictive abortion laws, including an Alabama measure approved by lawmakers on Tuesday that would outlaw almost all abortions in the state. It is awaiting consideration by the governor. With anti-abortion advocates optimistic about challenging Roe v. Wade before the new conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, blue-leaning states are moving to secure access to abortions. Against that backdrop, pushback from prosecutors could become more common, especially in politically mixed areas, said Mary Ziegler, a professor at Florida State University College of Law. Prosecutors also have a lot of discretion about how laws are enforced because they decide who to charge and what cases to file. Before the 1973 decision legalizing abortion, many bans weren't enforced unless there were complications, Ziegler said. "You'll see more statements of this kind. But how they'll be enforced is much more complicated than what first may seem to be the case," she said. Most laws have exceptions. The measure in Utah has allowances for cases of rape, fatal fetal deformity and serious detriment to a mother's health. Like Utah, Arkansas has also passed a ban on abortions after 18 weeks. Gill secured a federal order on Monday confirming his office won't have to enforce the measure as the court challenge plays out. However, if the law is eventually upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, Gill said, he likely would have to enforce it. "My job is to keep my personal beliefs out of it, but I absolutely believe that our citizens have constitutional rights and our institutions have an obligation to serve those citizens and not simply roll over and play dead," he said. The Utah Attorney General's Office declined to comment Wednesday on Gill's decision. Michigan's attorney general, Democrat Dana Nessel, has pledged at a state Planned Parenthood conference not to enforce the state's pre-existing abortion ban if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Other articles published by Las Vegas Sun

County reluctantly OKs exotic animal permit for music producer Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Clark County commissioners approved an exotic animal permit today for hip-hop producer Jamal Rashid despite staff’s recommendation to deny because he let the licenses expire.  Rashid, also known as Mally Mall, must provide 24-hour supervision for his...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who made fighting climate change the central theme of his presidential campaign, announced Wednesday night that he is ending his bid for the 2020 Democratic nomination. Inslee announced his decision on...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

The Raiders' worldwide tour gets started in the preseason when they play a "home" exhibition against Green Bay in Canada. The Raiders will be the first team to play games in three countries in one season; they also will play a "home" game in the regular...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

LOS ANGELES — The major online pot shop directory and cannabis marketplace Weedmaps announced Wednesday that it will no longer allow black-market businesses to advertise on its site, a decision that could boost California's efforts to rein in its vast...

Posted Thursday, 22 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

Authorities say an air traveler was detained by Metro Police after he punched an airline pilot at a McCarran International Airport gate where crew members determined he was too intoxicated to board a flight. Officer Alejandra Zambrano says the pilot...

Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

A prison-based Aryan gang responsible for crimes including killings, assaults and drug trafficking in the Las Vegas area has been dismantled following a six-month investigation, federal and local authorities announced today. In total, 30 people were...

Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to cancel a visit to Denmark next month after his offer to buy Greenland was rejected has thrust this ice-covered semi-autonomous Danish territory into the spotlight . Here's a look at what makes it special. WHERE ...

Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

NEW YORK — Taylor Swift plans to re-record her songs after her catalog was purchased by popular music manager Scooter Braun. "CBS Sunday Morning" previewed some of its pre-taped interview with Swift on Wednesday. The reporter asks Swift if she would...

Iceland's leader won't be around to welcome Pence Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

REYKJAVIK, Iceland — Iceland's leader has announced that she will skip U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's visit to her Nordic nation, opting instead to keep "prior commitments" by attending a trade union conference and meetings in Sweden. Prime Minister...

Vegas Play of the Day: New York Yankees at Oakland A's Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

The sixth season of the annual Play of the Day betting competition between the Sun's sports staff is now underway, effective July 1. Bankrolls start at $10,000 for each of the four participants, with the objective to increase it as much as possible over...

Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

NEW YORK — A documentary about an Ohio auto glass factory that is run by a Chinese investor debuted Wednesday on Netflix as the streaming service's first project backed by Michelle and Barack Obama's new production company. Filmmakers Steven Bognar and ...

Trump's fake accent angers Asian Americans as they veer left Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

When Amanda Berg heard that President Donald Trump mocked the accents of the leaders of South Korea and Japan at a recent fundraiser, it brought back painful memories from her childhood. Berg, a Korean American who grew up in Fort Collins, Colorado,...

Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

WASHINGTON — The federal budget deficit is expected to balloon to more than $1 trillion in the next fiscal year under the first projections taking into account the big budget deal that President Donald Trump and Congress reached this summer, the...

Ms. Nevada State 2019 loses title in move tied to politics Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

The Ms. America Pageant has taken away a woman's Ms. Nevada State 2019 title and both sides agree it stems from politics. Las Vegas media outlets report that Katie Jo Williams said she was stripped of the title because she's a supporter of President...

Sign of dim economy: Bonds that charge you for lending money Posted Wednesday, 21 August 2019 ‐ Las Vegas Sun

FRANKFURT, Germany — Imagine lending money to someone and having to pay for the privilege of doing so. Or being asked to invest and informed of how much money you'll lose. Sounds absurd, but increasingly that's the global bond market these days. A...