Marion County prosecutor vows not to prosecute anyone charged with breaking abortion laws

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Marion County’s chief prosecutor, who is up for reelection this year, stood by previous statements that he would not prosecute patients or doctors who may violate any future abortion laws passed by the state legislature.

Mears says doing so would violate the confidentiality between a patient and their doctor.

“To mount one of these criminal prosecutions you would have to go through people’s medical records, mental health records, it’s important to note, criminal prosecutions are open to the public, and then all of that information would be available for public consumption,” said Mears.

Mears also worries prosecuting abortion cases would divert resources from handling more serious violent crime, a decision that may pit lawmakers against prosecutors.

“Hopefully we have a discussion about the implications of these types of laws and how that is going to impact the medical community as well as people who are seeking medical treatment, so we are hoping the special session has a fair hearing of these issues and these concerns,” Mears said.

In a statement emailed to News 8, Mears’ opponent in the upcoming general election, Cyndi Carrasco said, “Cyndi Carrasco is laser-focused on what the Prosecutor’s office can do to impact the public safety crisis in Marion County. She will carefully watch what action the Indiana legislature takes and analyze any new laws that are passed.”

Mears was among hundreds who attended an abortion rights rally Saturday in Military Park. The event, organized by Planned Parenthood encouraged people to testify against to lawmakers during committee hearings later this month.

Lawmakers are expected to pass strict abortion laws in a special session weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe vs. Wade.

“You can’t ban a medical procedure. You can’t ban a medication; people will access abortion however and wherever they need to,” said Dr. Caitlin Bernard, a local OBGYN.

About Saturday’s rally, Indiana Right to Life CEO Mike Fichter said in a statement to News 8, “The Indiana legislature must ensure any law that it passes is enforced. It is negligent and a dereliction of their elected duty for prosecutors to refuse enforcement of laws, and it is particularly tragic when those laws are meant to protect innocent life and the welfare of the mother.”