AP

Washington lawmakers hear testimony on 7 abortion bills

Jan 26, 2023, 7:10 AM | Updated: 7:19 am
abortion Capital gains tax Olympia meeting legislature abortion...
(Flickr)
(Flickr)

Abortion rights proposals have been front and center in Olympia, Washington, this week as state lawmakers heard hours of public testimony on seven proposals that would reinforce abortion access.

The emphasis on four legislative committees hearing testimony on abortion bills Tuesday was intended to demonstrate majority Democrats’ support for abortion rights following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, The Seattle Times reported.

The June decision upended nearly 50 years of national abortion protections and sparked action in states throughout the country.

Lawmakers in Washington have introduced bills that would protect abortion providers in Washington from facing retaliation from other states and lower costs for patients, among others.

“I think it’s a real statement of our investment in making sure that these policy priorities not only get heard in both chambers, but early enough in session that we can get everything across the finish line,” Sen. Emily Randall, D-Bremerton, said.

Supporters and opponents of abortion rights testified in person and remotely, many telling personal stories of pregnancy and seeking abortions.

Abortion has been legal in Washington state since a 1970 statewide ballot referendum. Washington voters in 1991 approved Initiative 120, which codified Roe into state law.

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee has asked lawmakers this session to support changing the state constitution to protect abortion rights, and he testified Tuesday in favor of the amendment.

“What we considered fixed in the American constellation of Democratic values turned out to be very fragile,” Inslee told lawmakers. “And we cannot be lulled into thinking that that same thing cannot be the case in the state of Washington.”

The amendment faces a challenge in that it requires some Republican support to meet a two-thirds threshold in each legislative chamber. If it passes, the amendment would appear before Washington voters in November.

Republican Sen. Ann Rivers of La Center questioned Inslee on the need for a constitutional amendment, saying that state law is settled.

“And look at the makeup of the Legislature and the makeup of our Supreme Court. … Political theater aside, I don’t see any, any world in which Washington state changes course on this issue,” she said.

“I’m trying to say this in a respectful way: What world are you living in?” Inslee responded. “There is a party in our state that wakes up every single morning trying to take away this right from women. And in multiple states, unfortunately, in multiple states, they have done so effectively.”

Six other abortion bills require a simple majority to pass and face an easier path. They include a bill that would stop companies from selling data collected from people using apps that track periods and record other health data.

AP

FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Se...
Associated Press

Boeing to be arraigned in court over two Max jet crashes

Boeing representatives and relatives of some of the passengers killed in two crashes of Boeing 737 Max jets will meet face-to-face in a Texas courtroom Thursday, where the aerospace giant will be arraigned on a criminal charge that it thought it had settled two years ago.
11 hours ago
FILE - The sun dial near the Legislative Building is shown under cloudy skies, March 10, 2022, at t...
Gene Johnson, Associated Press

Justices weigh effort to balance Washington state’s tax code

SEATTLE (AP) — An effort to balance what is considered the nation’s most regressive state tax code comes before the Washington Supreme Court on Thursday, in a case that could overturn a prohibition on income taxes that dates to the 1930s. Washington is one of nine states without an income tax, and its heavy reliance […]
11 hours ago
FILE - CBD wax is displayed at a shop in Sunset Hills, Mo., on June 27, 2019. The Food and Drug Adm...
Associated Press

FDA declines to regulate CBD; calls on Congress for fix

The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday there are too many unknowns about CBD products to regulate them as foods or supplements under the agency’s current structure and called on Congress to create new rules for the massive and growing market. The marijuana-derived products have become increasingly popular in lotions, tinctures and foods, while their […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2011, file photo, a core sample drilled from underground rock near Ely, Minn...
Associated Press

US moves to protect Minnesota wilderness from planned mine

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Biden administration moved Thursday to protect northeastern Minnesota’s pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from future mining, dealing a potentially fatal blow to a copper-nickel project. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland signed an order closing over 350 square miles (900 square kilometers) of the Superior National Forest, in the Rainy […]
1 day ago
Robert E. Crimo Jr., listens during an appearance before Judge George D. Strickland at the Lake Cou...
Associated Press

Grand jury gets case of July 4 shooting suspect’s father

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois prosecutors told a judge Thursday that they are presenting evidence to a grand jury for a possible indictment against the father of the man charged with fatally shooting seven people at a Fourth of July parade in suburban Chicago. Robert Crimo Jr., 58, was arrested in December on seven felony counts […]
1 day ago
FILE - Workers at ACCESS, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, help with mea...
Associated Press

New US race, ethnicity standards proposed; first since ’97

A Middle Eastern and North African category could be added to U.S. federal surveys and censuses, and changes could be made to how Hispanics are able to self-identify, under preliminary recommendations released Thursday by the Biden administration in what would be the first update to race and ethnicity standards in a quarter century. The federal […]
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.
SHIBA WA...

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Washington lawmakers hear testimony on 7 abortion bills