Washington lawmakers to hear testimony on 7 abortion bills

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OLYMPIA, Washington — Abortion rights proposals were front and center this week in Olympia, Washington, as state lawmakers heard hours of public testimony on seven proposals that would increase access to abortion. ‘abortion.

The focus on Tuesday’s four legislative committees hearing testimony on abortion bills is set to highlight the majority of Democratic support for abortion rights after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Roe v. Wade, the Seattle Times reported.

June’s decision ended nearly 50 years of national abortion protections and sparked action in states across the country.

Washington lawmakers have introduced bills that would protect Washington abortion providers from retaliation by other states and reduce patient costs.

“I think this is a true statement of our investment in ensuring that our policy priorities are not only heard in both chambers, but that we all get to the finish line early in the session,” said Sen. Emily Randall, D-Bremerton. , told me.

Abortion rights advocates and opponents testified in person and remotely, many of them telling personal stories about pregnancy and abortion.

Abortion has been legal in Washington state since a statewide referendum in 1970. In 1991, Washington voters approved Initiative 120, which codified Roe into state law.

Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee has asked lawmakers this session to support an amendment to the state constitution to protect abortion rights, and he testified Tuesday in support of the amendment.

“What we thought was anchored in the constellation of American democratic values ​​turned out to be very fragile,” Inslee told lawmakers. “We can’t think that the same thing can’t happen in Washington state.”

The amendment would be difficult because it would need some Republican support to reach the two-thirds threshold in each legislative chamber. If passed, the amendment will go to voters in Washington in November.

Republican Sen. Anne Rivers of La Center asked Inslee about the need for a constitutional amendment, saying the state law was approved.

“Look at the composition of the Legislative Assembly and the Supreme Court. … Political theater aside, I don’t see a world where Washington state is going to change course on this issue,” he said.

“I’m trying to say this respectfully: What world do you live in?” Inslee responded, “There’s a party in our state that wakes up every morning and tries to take it from women right away. And in a few states, unfortunately, in a few states, they’ve done it effectively.

Six other abortion bills require simple majorities to pass the easier path. They include a bill that would prevent companies from selling data collected from people who use apps that enforce the rules and log other health data.

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