Seattle – Today, Mayor Bruce Harrell signed into law four bills to support access to abortion and reproductive health care in Seattle following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
Mayor Harrell was joined by Council Member Lisa Herbold and Council Member Tammy J. Morales, who sponsored two of the measures, as well as advocates and reproductive health care providers.
The following bills have been enacted:
- CB 120374adds people who have received or seek abortions as a protected class, ensuring the protection of their civil rights.
- CB 120376 creates a misdemeanor charge for people who interfere with people seeking abortions or gender-affirming care.
- CB 120375establishes Seattle as a sanctuary city for those seeking abortion care and prevents the pursuit of out-of-state abortion-related warrants by Seattle police.
- CB 120366 appropriates $250,000 in city funds to fund expanded access to reproductive health care by investing in the North West Abortion Access Fund.
“The Supreme Court‘s decision is a dangerous, decades-long leap back that will have significant and harmful consequences for women and all who seek abortions, with disproportionate impacts on women of color. We must use every tool available to protect basic civil rights of privacy and autonomy,” said Mayor Harrell. “These bills take the necessary steps to ensure that Seattle is a city where abortion and reproductive health care is available to all who seek it and that we are ready and able to safely serve the patients of the out of state seeking care here. I want to thank the advocates and providers who have remained steadfast in their commitment to safe and accessible care.
“The fight to ensure access to safe and impartial health care for pregnant women will continue. Roe’s reversal is the Big One – the earthquake we always knew was coming,” said council member Herbold. “There will be other emerging needs as the predicted fourfold increase in the number of medical refugees hits our state and opponents of reproductive justice try to find ways to prevent pregnant women from getting health care. they deserve. I will work with advocates and public health officials to ensure that pregnant patients are not harmed in religious hospitals where reproductive health care is routinely denied – and I will fight for accurate information is provided to pregnant patients.
“For the first time in the history of our country, our courts have overturned a fundamental right. This is no longer a theoretical exercise: as we see our courts assaulting marginalized communities and the reduction of rights, every level of government has a vital role to play in ensuring bodily autonomy and self-determination.” , said council member Morales. “I am proud to see the collaboration between community partners, my fellow council members Herbold and Strauss and Mayor Harrell for stepping up and working to ensure all tools are available to protect and ensure access to abortion care. in Seattle.”
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
“Thank you city leaders for coming forward and investing in Seattle’s local abortion fund, especially at such a critical time,” said Amanda Saxton, board member of the Northwest Abortion Access Fund . “Providing a direct investment in the North West Abortion Access Fund will allow us to ease the financial burden of people who have to travel for treatment. We look forward to building a partnership that will help us fulfill our mission of funding abortion and breaking down barriers to abortion access in the North West.
“These bills will help strengthen access to safe reproductive care for patients in Washington and across the country by removing barriers and standing firm in the truth that abortion is a basic human right,” said Kia Guarino, executive director of Pro-Choice Washington.“It is essential that we continue to strengthen protections for patients and providers, and demonstrate the importance of safe and accessible abortion and gender-affirming care for the well-being of our entire community.”
“When I decided to have an abortion, I was terrified that my information would be passed on to Immigration Custom Enforcement (ICE) and that my decision would one day be used against me,” said Brenda Rodriguez Lopez, executive director of the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network. “All immigrants deserve to have autonomy over their bodily choices without fear of persecution. We know what’s good for us, and I’m overwhelmed with joy to see our laws in Seattle reflect that.
“Anti-abortion extremists have declared their intention to step up their activism in safe states like Washington. Unable to advance their mission in the legislature or the courts, they seek to prevent pregnant women from directly accessing care – through misinformation, intimidation and harassment,” said Kim Clark, legal director at Legal Voice.“That’s why measures like those adopted by the city council are so important. We are so grateful to Council members Herbold and Morales, the Seattle City Council, and the Mayor for anticipating this growing threat and standing up for the health and well-being of people who become pregnant.
“Passing these bills is a step in the right direction for the people of Seattle, the people of Washington, and people who come to our state for essential reproductive care, including abortion.” , said Courtney Normand, Washington State Director for Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates.“No one should have to worry about being sued or harassed for doing what is best for their personal health care. We are grateful for the local leadership of Mayor Harrell and Council members Herbold and Morales and look forward to working at all levels of government to protect and expand access to abortion in Washington.
“Members of the Seattle Women’s Commission support the swift and powerful legislation brought forward by Mayor Harrell, City Council members Herbold and Morales,” said the Seattle Women’s Commission. “We are a sanctuary city that upholds our pillars of respect, safety and inclusion.”