State Watch

Inslee calls for Washington state constitutional amendment to protect abortion

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said at a press conference Saturday that he will seek to enshrine a right to abortion into Washington’s state constitution after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday.

“We have to understand, because of this Republican assault on women’s rights in this state, without a Constitutional amendment to solidify this right under our state’s Constitution we are one Republican majority [away from] losing the right of choice in the state of Washington,” said Inslee.

Inslee, who has signed into law multiple bills promoting access to abortion in Washington state, added that “the right to this choice, this constitutional choice for the last five decades, should not depend on which party is in control of our state Legislature.”

In March, Inslee signed the “Affirm Washington Abortion Access” bill, which blocks any lawsuits against those seeking an abortion or assisting others seeking the procedure, into law.

The measure was passed in response to a Texas bill that aimed to ban abortion after six weeks and allow suits to be filed against abortion seekers or those who aid them.

“While choice today is protected in the state of Washington, women are more in peril of losing this right than any time in the last six decades,” Inslee said at the news conference Saturday.

Inslee also promised to issue an executive order next week telling the Washington State Patrol “not to cooperate in investigations of other states who violate the Roe v. Wade decision.”

“Access to data and privacy is very important in this fight so we are going to be very alert in privacy laws,” said Inslee. “We’re not going to allow that data to get back to Texas or Missouri or Idaho.”

Inslee characterized Washington as a “sanctuary state for the right of choice” for those seeking abortions, “including those that come from other states.”

Abortion was legalized in Washington in 1970 through a statewide ballot referendum, and Inslee signed laws in 2018 and 2021 involving health care coverage of abortion.

Tags abortion rights Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization Jay Inslee Jay Inslee Roe v. Wade Washington Washington state
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