With talk of Roe v. Wade reversal, Nashville DA candidates said they won't prosecute abortion

AP Poll Abortion
Posted at 10:37 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 14:49:24-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A leaked majority of the Supreme Court of the United States prompted one Nashville official to say he wouldn't prosecute abortion if the procedure became banned in Tennessee.

An article from Politico showed a leaked draft of a majority ruling from the court, which indicated the bulk of justices were in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade. In response, current Nashville District Attorney Glenn Funk explained how he would handle that situation.

"With regard to reproductive issues, the criminal law must not be used by the state to exercise control over a woman’s body," Funk said in 2020. "As long as I am the elected District Attorney for the 20th Judicial District, I will not prosecute any woman who chooses to have a medical procedure to terminate a pregnancy or any medical doctor who performs this procedure at the request of their patient."

Funk said Monday night he stood by his previous words.

"It has now been reported that the Supreme Court is on the verge of taking away the reproductive and health care rights of women," he said. "I am appalled that this assault on a woman's personal health decisions is in jeopardy. I stand by my prior statement."

Funk is running for reelection in Tuesday's primary on the Democratic ticket. He will face Sara Beth Myers and P. Danielle Nellis. NewsChannel 5 profiled both women running for district attorney, but Funk declined the station's interview request for more than a week.

Meyers said — if elected — she wouldn't prosecute those who made the decision to have an abortion.

"I proudly support a woman’s right to access safe abortion care and I am outraged at the Supreme Court’s impending decision to overturn Roe v. Wade," she said. "There is a right to privacy in the constitution that protects the right to an abortion, and as district attorney I will never use the law to violate someone’s civil rights. We need a change today in Nashville because our district attorney’s reckless behavior has put the right to abortion into deeper jeopardy in our city. Because of Glenn Funk, Tennessee’s attorney general has the right to request special prosecutors to handle abortion-related cases in Nashville. The polls close at 7 p.m."

Several other Tennessee lawmakers have commented on the report.

U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn and Bill Hagerty both spoke out against the leak, calling for an investigation into the unprecedented breach.

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper spoke out against the potential ruling.