Lawmakers in Washington state have filed a constitutional amendment that would guarantee a right to abortion. The proposal, Senate Joint Resolution 8202, was filed on December 21 by Senators Karen Keiser and Patty Kuderer at the request of Governor Jay Inslee.
The proposed amendment reads, “The state shall not deny or interfere with an individual’s reproductive freedom decisions, which includes the individual’s fundamental right to choose to have an abortion and the individual’s fundamental right to choose to use contraception.”
“In the nationwide fallout from the Supreme Court’s ruling, one thing became clear: Washington state is a national leader in protecting the right to choose,” said Kuderer. “We have more protections for providers and patients coming in 2023 to guarantee the right to an abortion remains safe and legal in Washington. We will remain a state that safeguards healthcare for all.”
Health care by definition seeks to cure and heal illness and disease, not to end human life. Induced abortion, however, intentionally kills human beings. It does not heal or cure disease.
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According to The Olympian, voters first approved abortion in the state in 1970 with the passage of Referendum 20. In 1991, the state passed the Reproductive Privacy Act, which codified the right to abortion into law.
Inslee promised earlier this year to further expand abortion in the state following the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade. In October, he announced several abortion-friendly proposals, including one which would make Washington a “sanctuary state” for abortion. In July, he issued a directive prohibiting the Washington State Police from cooperating in any out-of-state abortion investigations.
“Access to a woman’s right of choice is a health care issue,” Inslee previously said in a press conference. “Healthcare must remain the providence of individual Washington women. These laws will keep the tentacles of restrictive states out of Washington.”
He also praised Keiser and Kuderer for introducing the constitutional amendment. “Washington is and will remain a pro-choice state,” he said in a tweet. “A constitutional amendment is one more stop to safeguarding abortion rights for all patients seeking care here.”
Washington is and will remain a pro-choice state. A constitutional amendment is one more step to safeguarding abortion rights for all patients seeking care here. Thanks to Sens. Karen Keiser and Patty Kuderer for sponsoring this legislation. https://t.co/Mo1myPe3VA #waleg
— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) December 28, 2022
According to MyNorthwest, constitutional amendments in the state must pass by a two-thirds supermajority vote in both chambers and be approved by a majority vote in a general election. The state’s next legislative session begins January 9.