Republicans not pursuing abortion ban in Washington state

Gov. Jay Inslee warns abortion rights are not adamant in Washington, despite claims by Republican lawmakers they will not pursue a ban.

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Republican lawmakers say they have no plans to pursue anti-abortion legislation in Washington state, despite warnings from Gov. Jay Inslee.

On Friday, the US Supreme Court ruled by a vote of 6 to 3 in Roe v. Wade, a landmark case that guaranteed federal access to abortion. The decision has no direct impact on Washington state, but now Inslee argues that state laws protecting abortion rights will be easier to change once Republicans gain control of the Olympia majority.

“What happened this morning in Washington, DC,” said Inslee, D-Washington, “we cannot allow this to happen in Washington state in the future.”

Inslee cited a number of abortion-related bills introduced by Republican legislators over the past few years. He said previous attempts to pass abortion-related legislation showed Republicans were determined to ban the procedure.

Some called for outright bans, while others called for parental notification and banning of procedures paid for with public funds.

Most laws have never been heard and not seriously discussed.

Inslee said that would change if either the House or Senate got a Republican majority.

“The only way we can protect ourselves is to keep Republicans from controlling our state legislature,” Inslee said, “that’s going to be up for a vote this November.”

Senate Minority Leader Senator John Braun called Inslee’s comments “fear mongering”.

He said the Supreme Court decision will not change existing state laws, including voter-passed initiatives in 1970 and 1991 guaranteeing abortion rights in Washington state.

“People engineered this themselves, there’s no history where problems this big have been reversed without additional human action,” said Braun, R-Lewis County.

Braun said his party was more concerned about issues such as rising gas prices, inflation and an increase in crime.

“Those are the things that most people worry about,” Braun said.

Governor Inslee said he would like to see a constitutional amendment guaranteeing abortion rights in the state.

That would require a two-thirds majority in the House and Senate and voter approval.

Braun said he would not support an amendment.

“I don’t think it’s necessary,” Braun said.

Even if Republicans won a majority in the House and Senate, the governor would still have veto power over any legislation banning abortion, said R-Republic Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber.

“This is a pro-choice state,” she said.

Inslee’s current term ends in 2025.

Maycumber agreed that limiting or banning abortion is not a priority for the state’s Republican Party. Republicans not pursuing abortion ban in Washington state

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