Atlanta mayor supports de-prioritizing enforcement of anti-abortion laws

Then mayor-elect Andre Dickens of Atlanta speaks with reporters after attending meetings at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Atlanta mayor Andre Dickens says he supports an effort by the city council to make the enforcement of anti-abortion laws a “low priority.” 

His statement comes as the U.S Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade this month.

The resolution aims to discourage police from prioritizing abortion enforcement. District 5 Councilmember Liliana Bakhtiari introduced it in advance of the U.S. Supreme Court’s expected ruling on Roe v. Wade abortion protections.

The resolution would be non-binding.

If the court overturns Roe as indicated in its recent draft opinion, Georgia’s six-week abortion ban could take effect, criminalizing women who miss that cutoff.

Mayor Andre Dickens says he supports the council’s resolution.

“I agree and support the Atlanta City Council’s efforts in that regard. I don’t believe that the Atlanta Police Department should be, you know, involved in women’s health concerns,” the mayor said.

At a press conference, Dickens and police officials said the department is continuing to prioritize gangs, drugs and guns.

Bakhtiari noted that “[directing] the police on how to prioritize crime… [actually] is a very common practice in cities.”

If approved, it would make Atlanta the latest U.S. city to announce intentions not to enforce state abortion bans if Roe v. Wade falls.