Local impact on abortion rights with Trump’s Supreme Court nomination

Feb 1, 2017, 5:48 AM

Reproductive rights are personal for Caitlin Flynn, who came to Seattle’s Planned Parenthood for an emergency contraceptive after a sexual assault.

“Plan B” worked. She never had to consider abortion.

“I never wanted to make that choice, no one wants to have surgery,” Flynn said.

She is passionate about the right to choose.

“It’s about women being in control of our own bodies and I don’t want a bunch of pro-life white men telling me what I must do in a situation that they will never, ever find themselves in,” Flynn said.

Abortion rights supporters are deeply worried that President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court will lead to the eventual reversal of Roe v. Wade.

“We have never been more under threat in my lifetime,” said Tiffany Hankins, executive director of NARAL Pro Choice Washington.

Hankins said that although Washington has a state law protecting abortion rights, any new restrictive federal laws that might follow the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade would supersede state law.

“We are not safe here in Washington State and we will be fighting every single day to protect our rights here,” Hankins said.

By contrast, abortion opponents hope a new conservative justice, possibly followed by another later in President Trump’s term, could tip the scales their way.

“I’m hopeful. I think we have a president who expressed as a candidate that he will appoint justices who will uphold the inalienable right to life and we are looking hopefully for that,” said Esther Ripplinger, executive director of Human Life of Washington.

Even before Gorsuch was named, Ripplinger said President Trump has made good appointments so far.

“If he appoints someone as he described we would be pleased,” Ripplinger said.

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Local impact on abortion rights with Trump’s Supreme Court nomination