Despite WA codifying abortion access, federal prohibition ‘threat’ emerges, Gov. Inslee says

May 3, 2022, 9:23 AM


U.S. Supreme Court Police officers set up barricades on the sidewalk as pro-choice and anti-abortion activists demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on May 03, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

With the U.S. Supreme Court poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, Gov. Jay Inslee is concerned that an emerging tide of GOP strategy to outlaw abortion at the federal level will spill over Washington state’s borders.

Monday, a leaked draft Supreme Court majority opinion offered that “Roe and Casey must be overruled,” Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr wrote, referring to a subsequent Court decision that upheld Roe. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.” An official ruling on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is expected in late June or July.

Hours later, the governor took to the KIRO Newsradio airwaves to frame the majority draft opinion as within a larger context, a congressional attempt to outlaw abortion.

“There is an … emerging strategy by the Republican Party to nationally prohibit abortion. This will be a threat that would come from our national Congress, if people are elected who have that view,” Gov. Inslee told KIRO Newsradio’s Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien.

“We know there will be a national effort by Republicans in the U.S. Congress to essentially outlaw women’s right of choice nationwide. That’s the next shoe you can look forward to attempting to drop.”

Ross: The Roe v. Wade draft opinion and revisiting the Right to Life’s pledge to end childhood poverty

Washington state’s most recent legislative session saw a series of bills signed into law that secured the state’s right to abortion and expanded access to midwives through clarification and streamlining of the licensing process.

HB 1851 updates outdated language in Washington laws related to abortion rights and codifies existing practices. It also clarifies that licensed providers, nurses, and clinicians can legally provide abortion care, even if they’re not doctors. It also allocates additional protection from prosecution for those seeking an abortion in Washington coming from states with more restrictive laws.

With those legislative pieces in tow, the governor anticipates “an increasing demand by women across the country coming to Washington state.”

Listen to Gov. Jay Inslee’s complete interview with KIRO Newsradio here: 

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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