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Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Washington Governor Inslee Upholds State Abortion Rights Ahead of Supreme Court Ruling

By meerna Jun12,2024

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivers his annual State of the State address at the Washington State Capitol, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, in Olympia, Washington.

FILE – Washington Gov. Jay Inslee delivers his annual State of the State address to the joint legislative session in the House chambers at the Washington State Capitol, Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024, in Olympia, Washington. Inslee, Tuesday, Jan. 30, called on the state to develop best practices for how agencies should use generative artificial intelligence as they continue to incorporate the technology into government operations. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Ahead of another Supreme Court ruling that could critically change U.S. reproductive rights, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee made clear the state’s abortion care laws.

At a news conference Tuesday morning, the state’s leader assured that emergency abortion services will remain legal in Washington state despite the upcoming decision in Idaho and Moyle et al. v. United States – and overturning Roe V. Wade in June 2022.


“It was a bad decision, but we have to come to terms with it,” Inslee said. “Their madness led to the greatest disenfranchisement in American history. Anti-abortion states have weaponized this decision to try to strip women of their rights, including in Washington state.”

In late April, the Supreme Court began hearing arguments in a case arising from Idaho’s abortion restrictions. The state prohibits abortions except in emergency situations where the pregnancy is life-threatening, which has created a confusing zone for some doctors.

“How close to death does someone have to be before a doctor can step in and provide care?” Sarah Prager, professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Washington School of Medicine, said during Inslee’s news conference.

Since the overturning of Roe V. Wade in May 2022, there have been several cases of pregnant women being returned to emergency rooms, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

This was reported on AP News that women in states with certain restrictions on abortion suffered miscarriages or infant deaths because hospital staff did not want to be penalized for their treatment.

Simultaneously, Emergency Treatment and Labor Act requires hospitals receiving Medicare to provide stabilizing treatment to patients, regardless of whether they can pay for it.

The Biden administration has argued that Idaho’s abortion ban violates a federal statute, while Idaho officials have argued that the law was designed to benefit uninsured patients and does not necessarily allow emergency abortions.

Inslee said that since the Dobbs decision, Washington has seen a 50% increase in the number of out-of-state residents visiting the state seeking abortion care. The Supreme Court has yet to rule on its first reproductive rights case in about two years, but Inslee said state protections will remain unchanged.

“If we don’t have clarity, we may end up with some litigant bringing a Washington women lawsuit that ends up in the U.S. Supreme Court, and you simply can’t trust Donald Trump’s court to protect and properly interpret Washington state law,” he said.

By meerna

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