The governors of Washington, Oregon and California have made a joint “multi-state commitment” saying they will work together to defend patients and care providers.
OLYMPIA, Washington — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Saturday outlined how the state intends to protect patients who travel to seek abortions from prosecution by authorities in other states where it is illegal after the US Supreme Court Roe v. Wade lifted.
The governors of Washington, Oregon and California have made a joint “multi-state commitment” saying they will work together to defend patients and care providers. The governors said their states are preparing for an increase in people wanting abortions. Neighboring Idaho has a trigger law that, after Friday’s ruling, will ban abortions except in cases of reported rape or incest, or to protect the life of the mother.
According to a study published by the Guttmacher Institute, Washington state could see a 385% increase in patients seeking an abortion
The governors pledged to guard against “collaboration by the judiciary and local law enforcement with extrastate investigations, investigations and arrests” regarding abortions performed in their states.
Here’s how Washington, Oregon, and California react after Roe’s overthrow. V Wade.
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On Saturday, Inslee condemned the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn efforts by Roe V. Wade and the Republicans to restrict access to abortion.
Inslee called for a state constitutional amendment to enshrine abortion rights and protect them should the composition of state legislatures change.
“We need to understand that because of this Republican assault on women’s rights in this state, without a constitutional amendment to solidify that right in our state constitution, we are a Republican majority losing the right to vote in Washington state,” he told Inslee.
Inslee also announced that he would issue an executive order to the Washington State Patrol next week not to cooperate with law enforcement agencies in other states that criminalize abortion.
“We will make Washington State a haven state for the right to vote,” Inslee said. “We will use every resource provided by law to defend the right to vote, the right to privacy and the security of citizens, including those who come from other states.”
Inslee said he is urging state legislatures to pass legislation to expand the practice to other law enforcement agencies across the state.
Inslee said he will also work to improve the state’s health care resources to prepare for the influx of abortion seekers from other states with a $1 million investment.
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Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson also said he will work to ensure his state “welcomes every person who comes here to have access to the fundamental right to reproductive justice,” adding that he “already works to protect healthcare professionals who are prosecuted in other states for providing basic health care that is legal and protected in Washington.”
King County Executive Dow Constantine said the state’s most populous county will allocate $1 million in emergency relief funds to help women traveling to the Seattle area seeking abortions.
Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said the city is also working to expand access to reproductive services and is investing $250,000 in the Northwest Abortion Access Fund.
Abortion has been legal in Washington state since a statewide referendum in 1970. Another ballot measure, approved by voters in 1991, reaffirmed a woman’s right to choose a medically performed abortion before the viability of the fetus, further expanding and protecting access to abortion in the state when Roe v. Wade was lifted.
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A $15 million fund established by state lawmakers this year covers the costs of abortion providers and patients without insurance or traveling from abroad.
The fund also seeks to expand access to abortion in Oregon’s rural communities.
“Regardless of who you are or where you’re from, Oregon does not turn away anyone seeking medical care,” Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said Friday.
Oregon enacted abortion rights. State law was updated in 2017 to allow late-stage abortions and requires private health insurance and state Medicaid to cover the procedure.
RELATED: Which states are likely to ban abortion after Roe v. Wade was lifted?
In Sacramento, California, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation designed to protect California abortion providers and volunteers from legal decisions in other states that restrict reproductive rights, part of a package of more than a dozen bills designed to make California a haven for abortion seekers.
He said the state budget will include $20 million over three years to pay out-of-state women to have abortions in California. The money goes to charities that help women pay for expenses like travel, housing, and childcare.
In California, abortion was outlawed in 1850 unless the mother’s life was in danger. The law changed in 1967 to include abortions in cases of rape, incest, or when a woman’s mental health was at risk.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/nation-world/washington-oregon-california-respond-overturning-roe-v-wade/281-56f05280-19aa-4bfa-9803-f8863dbe1847 Next steps for Washington, Oregon, California after Roe V. Wade