– Olympia, WA
Governor Inslee outlined Saturday afternoon how he will be issuing an executive order to the Washington State Patrol on how the state plans to shield out of state patients who travel into Washington to seek abortions from being pursued by authorities in other states where it is now outlawed after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe vs Wade.
In a joint statement the governors stated, “California, Oregon and Washington will continue to be a safe haven for all people seeking abortions and other reproductive health care services in these states.”
In response to the U.S. Supreme Court Decision to overturn Roe vs Wade Governor Newsom and the governors of Oregon and Washington launched a new Multi-State Commitment to defend access to reproductive health care and protect patients and providers. Governor Newsom has proposed a $125 million Reproductive Health Package to expand access for women and help prepare for the influx of women seeking reproductive health care from other states. The California Legislature has introduced a constitutional amendment to enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution. Governor Newsom recently signed legislation eliminating copays for abortion care services and has signed into law a legislative package to further strengthen access and protect patients and providers.
“The law remains unchanged in Washington state, but the threat to patient access and privacy has never been more dangerous. Even in Washington state, Republicans have introduced about 40 bills in the past six years to roll back abortion rights and access to reproductive care,” said Governor Jay Inslee.
“The right of choice should not depend on which party holds the majority, but that’s where we find ourselves. More than half the nation’s population now lacks safe access to a medical procedure that only a patient and their doctor can and should make for themselves. Instead, law enforcement, vigilantes and judicial systems can force patients to bear the burdens of forced pregnancy and birth. Washington state remains steadfast in our commitment to protecting the ability and right of every patient who comes to our state in need of abortion care, and we will fight like hell to restore that right to patients all across the country.”
On June 25, Gov. Jay Inslee and state legislators held a press conference to discuss some of the policies they are working on to strengthen access and support for abortion providers and patients. Inslee said Democratic leaders are united in making Washington a sanctuary state for all patients seeking abortion care.
Some of the measures the governor and legislators discussed include:
- Pursuing a constitutional amendment that solidifies the right of choice in Washington.
- An executive order that directs the Washington State Patrol to refuse cooperation with investigatory requests related to abortion that come from agencies in states that don’t allow abortion.
- $1 million in emergency funds to better ensure reproductive care clinics in Washington state can provide care to every patient who walks through their doors.
- Ensuring hospital mergers don’t result in erosion of access to abortion care, particularly in rural areas.
- Increased protection and safeguards involving patient data.
Article Source: MLWA 7