Allister Adel has scored the endorsements of numerous abortion opponents, like Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, while at the same time pledging to enforce the state’s draconian anti-abortion laws if they are sustained by the Courts.
Adel has made contradictory declarations about her potential enforcement of Arizona’s abortion laws in the event Roe v Wade is overturned. Early on, she proclaimed that as Maricopa County Attorney, she had “an ethical and legal obligation to enforce the law, regardless of how I may feel personally about it.”
Although Adel has never prosecuted anyone on abortion charges, she observed that as a prosecutor, “you don’t get to pick and choose what cases are submitted.” However, in aftermath of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the resulting apprehension among supporters of abortion rights, Adel softened her tone.
In response to a press inquiry, Adel’s spokesperson advised that no woman would be prosecuted for undergoing an abortion: “In the rare event that Roe v. Wade is overturned, Allister will not support any law that criminalizes a woman for their health care choices.”
This position still, however, allows her plenty of scope to crack down on abortion by targeting healthcare providers.
Adel's predecessor, Bill Montgomery, was also an outspoken opponent of abortion. In 2013, Montgomery criticized a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that barred Arizona from enforcing a post-20-week ban on abortions. In his statement, Montgomery called for the US Supreme Court to overturn its past precedents on the matter.
Adel also enjoys the support of several vocal opponents of abortion rights. For instance, Adel trumpets the endorsements of Arizona Congressman Andy Biggs and Rick Romley, a former Maricopa County Attorney.
Biggs has won notoriety for his opposition to abortion and the LGBTQ community. Biggs opposes all forms of elective abortion and wants to overturn Roe v. Wade. He also voted against Covid-19 relief in March 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, because the legislation contained provisions for domestic partnerships, including same-sex relationships.
During his tenure, Romley’s office earned a reputation for its aggressive defense of the state’s restrictive abortion laws in the courts. Romley’s office unsuccessfully defended a challenge to Arizona’s abortion laws in 1992 and again in 2004. In the earlier lawsuit, Romley’s office resisted an effort to hold that Arizona’s first degree murder statute did not apply to abortions. More than a decade later, Romley defended Arizona’s efforts to regulate abortion providers.