Washington’s public officials & experts react to SCOTUS overturning Roe v. Wade

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Despite the decision being leaked months prior, the Supreme Court of the United States of America (SCOTUS) has formally overturned the landmark case Roe v. Wade, which established a constitutional right to abortion. Washington lawmakers and leaders remain adamant that abortions will remain lawful in the Evergreen State—although politicians from across the region have varying viewpoints on what this decision means.

RELATED: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade; states can ban abortion

This list will be updated periodically as more public statements are revealed by the lawmakers, public officials and other figures relevant to the region make their stance known.

GOVERNOR JAY INSLEE: 

The law remains unchanged in Washington state, but the threat to patient access and privacy has never been more dangerous. Even in Washington state, Republicans have introduced about 40 bills in the past six years to roll back abortion rights and access to reproductive care.

The right of choice should not depend on which party holds the majority, but that’s where we find ourselves. More than half the nation’s population now lacks safe access to a medical procedure that only a patient and their doctor can and should make for themselves.

West Coast states will fight like hell. I am joining with [California Governor] Gavin Newsom and [Oregon Governor Kate Brown to ensure patients and providers in our states are safe and protected.

REP. DAN NEWHOUSE (WA-04): 

“The Declaration of Independence states that every individual has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Whether or not we maintain the sanctity of life as one of our highest priorities is an indication of our national commitment to our founding documents. Today’s decision is a victory for our most vulnerable and a firm statement upholding the God-given rights for all Americans. I am proudly pro-life and will continue to work to protect the lives of innocent children.”

ATTORNEY GENERAL BOB FERGUSON:

“Today the United States Supreme Court adopted an extremist position and overturned 50 years of precedent upon which Americans have relied. This decision will harm individuals across our country by severely restricting access to safe, legal reproductive health care, and it will strain Washington’s health care network as individuals from Idaho and other states come here seeking the health care they require.“When the Senate confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the court, I knew this day was possible. Consequently, I told my legal team to start preparing. I will make three promises to Washingtonians:“As long as I serve in public office, no one will take away Washingtonians’ right to choose. Washingtonians enshrined their right to reproductive freedom into law by voting to pass the Reproductive Privacy Act. I will use every tool to defend this law, and we will fight every legislative effort to remove these fundamental protections.“Moreover, I will use my authority to ensure Washington welcomes any individual who comes here to access the fundamental right to reproductive justice. I am already working to protect medical professionals who are prosecuted in other states for providing essential health care services that are legal and protected in Washington.“Finally, we will look for opportunities to bring or support legal efforts to overturn this extreme opinion. My legal team challenged President Trump’s ‘gag rule’ in federal court in Eastern Washington and won a nationwide injunction. We helped defeat Trump’s contraception access rule. We will never stop fighting for reproductive justice.”

REP. CATHY MCMORRIS RODGERS (WA-05):

This is one of the most momentous days in American history for the dignity and sanctity of every human life.

This is just the beginning of a new era to define the human rights issue of our generation and to provide care, hope, and support for moms and their children at every stage of their lives.

Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats want an extreme and discriminatory pro-abortion agenda to be the law of the land. Their Abortion on Demand Until Birth Act nationalizes abortions for all nine months, making America just as radical as China and North Korea.

It legalizes discriminatory abortions at any stage based on a baby’s sex, race, and disability, including Down Syndrome. It also overrides state laws that protect women from coercion.

No part of this agenda celebrates the dignity, value, or potential of human life. Yet, nearly every Democrat in Congress is on the record for it.

The Abortion on Demand Until Birth act, which is more racial than Roe, must be stopped by a movement united behind our unalienable, God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.

Every life is worth living. May this remain the moral bedrock that guides us and our great nation.

REBECCA GIBRON, CEO of Planned Parenthood Great Northwest:

“It is my promise to every person in Washington that Planned Parenthood will never back down. We will keep fighting with everything we’ve got to ensure that everyone can access the care you need to control your body and your life. I want to be clear: Planned Parenthood will always be here to help you get the care you need. Abortion remains safe and legal in Washington, and our health centers are open and ready to provide you care.”

SEN. JOHN BRAUN (WA-20) via WASHINGTON STATE SENATE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS:

“Today’s decision does not affect the law here in Washington. Even my Democrat colleagues have been quick to point out that our laws protect access to abortion procedures. However, better support for pregnant women who choose to give birth should be a common goal for all of us, regardless of our politics. Compassion and empathy, rather than hostility, should be the universal approach. I’m hoping this is how we all move forward.”

WA INSURANCE COMMISSIONER MIKE KREIDLER:

“Washington state led the country in protecting peoples’ rights to terminate a pregnancy and we will not reverse that promise now. Today’s decision by six justices on the Supreme Court reverses the progress we’ve made in preserving the rights of pregnant people in our country to make the most difficult decisions that only they and their families should make. I will do everything I can to maintain access to this critical service for all Washington individuals and their families.”

SEN. PATTY MURRAY (D-WA):

“Today, Republicans dragged this country backwards by half a century. Republicans ripped away our rights and made this generation the first generation of American women with fewer rights than their mothers.

Republicans are forcing women to stay pregnant and give birth when they don’t want to—no matter the circumstances. They are even passing laws to jail women who get abortions and the doctors who provide them.

Right here in the Senate, it was Republicans who stacked our Supreme Court with anti-abortion justices, who blocked Democrats’ efforts to protect abortion rights, and who right now are pushing for a federal abortion ban.

Everyone needs to understand this is a real crisis that’ll hurt millions of people across the country—Republicans want a federal abortion ban & Roe v. Wade is no longer settled law. We aren’t going to stand idly by while they rip away abortion rights or go after birth control next.

We are going to stand up and fight back with our voices and our votes—to protect the right of every woman to make her own health care decisions. The American people will not forget Republicans’ cruelty—not today, not tomorrow, and not this November.”

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