LOCAL NEWS

King County Council pledges $1 million to help those seeking abortions from out of state

Jul 5, 2022, 5:43 PM | Updated: Jul 7, 2022, 12:36 pm
King County Executive Dow Constantine. (Executive Constantine, Twitter)...
King County Executive Dow Constantine. (Executive Constantine, Twitter)
(Executive Constantine, Twitter)

King County is devoting $1 million in emergency funding to help with the potential flood of abortion-seeking women in the Pacific Northwest.

The full council voted with the ordinance passing 8-1. Most members argued that the expenditure was justified because the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

“The Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade is the culmination of a decades-long strategy by right-wing zealots to strip the essential right to abortion care from millions of Americans,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said.

Washington prepares for ‘influx of patients from Idaho’ after strengthening abortion protections

Constantine announced the emergency funding, saying the county plans to “live up to our values.” He and Chair Claudia Balducci partnered to create the legislation to authorize $500,000 for the Northwest Abortion Access Fund after it passed. The other $500,000 will go to Public Health, Seattle and King County, which Constantine said will help bolster the health care system for surges.

Washington state law does protect the right to abortion care, though Constantine said he believes neighboring states will soon enact abortion bans, leaving women there with little to no help.

“On a personal level, I am outraged that my daughter will come of age in a society that treats her as a second-class citizen, without authority even over her own body; in a country that lacks basic support for families, like universal paid family leave and affordable access to quality child care; and in a country with scandalously high rates of maternal and infant mortality,” Constantine said.

26 states are likely to enact abortion bans or restrictions in the near future, according to King County Public Health. This means an influx of persons from out-of-state will come to Washington state for access to abortion.

Councilmember Reagan Dunn was the only one to vote no on the ordinance.

“I do believe that it’s appropriate that these types of nonprofits can and should exist. I don’t believe King County taxpayers should be on the hook for paying for these services,” Dunn said. “Particularly when they are being used to help residents from outside King County and Washington state.”

Jason Rantz, host of the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH, agrees with Dunn’s sentiment.

“Why are we giving taxpayer dollars to provide abortion under the lie that it’s under threat in King County?” asked Rantz. “This is nothing but political grandstanding that we’re paying for. They spend virtually no time, energy, or funds supporting women who want to give birth.”

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King County Council pledges $1 million to help those seeking abortions from out of state