In the event of an abortion ban in Indiana, Monroe County Prosecutor Erika Oliphant said she cannot legally or ethically commit to not prosecuting those who seek an abortion, according to a June 28 statement given to Indiana Public Media.
Oliphant said in the article she is pro-choice and was disappointed by the Supreme Court decision. However, she said she has sworn to support the state constitution and cannot entirely refuse to prosecute a certain crime.
Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears, who announced in 2019 he would not prosecute simple marijuana offenses due to their disproportionate effect on people of color, is one of dozens of prosecutors across the country who have pledged to refuse to prosecute abortion. He is the only Indiana prosecutor to make this pledge so far.
Indiana legislators have tried several times to pass a bill that would punish “noncompliant prosecutors” like Mears. All attempts, including one from the 2022 legislative session, have failed to pass.
The Indianapolis Party for Socialism and Liberation organized a protest at Oliphant’s office Monday to secure her commitment to not prosecute abortion cases.
CLARIFICATION: This story has been updated to make clear that the not all people at Monday's protest were members of the Party of Socialism and Liberation.