Seattle, WA – Councilmember Tammy J. Morales (District 2, Chinatown / International District and South Seattle) and Councilmember Lisa Herbold (District 1, West Seattle and South Park) announced legislation to protect abortions and gender-affirming care in Seattle. The first, CB 120374, is an ordinance that would add people who have received or are seeking abortions as a protected class, ensuring their civil rights protections. The second, CB 120376, would create a misdemeanor charge for people who encroach on individuals seeking abortions or gender-affirming care. This is an adoption of RCW 9A.50.020 into Seattle Municipal Code.
“As policymakers, we must work to ensure that everyone has their fundamental rights to privacy and bodily autonomy,” says Councilmember Morales. “I’m proud to stand firm alongside my colleagues and community advocates today and declare that Seattle is a city where we can strengthen existing protections and create systems of support for people who are seeking abortion care.”
“Here in Seattle, we’re very used to thinking about earthquakes, and many of us have emergency plans to help us survive the initial days of an earthquake’s aftermath,” says Councilmember Herbold. “The Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs is not just any earthquake – it’s the Big One – the catastrophic earthquake we’ve always known was coming. We must get ready, and quickly – the reality is that pregnant people don’t have the luxury of time to make decisions about abortion.”
“The decision of the Supreme Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization is an unprecedented attack on the fundamental human rights of people who can become pregnant,” says Kim Clark, Legal Director at Legal Voice. “That the Supreme Court would ignore how this decision will disproportionately impact marginalized communities who already face systemic barriers to access to healthcare is especially disappointing. Washington law protects the right to abortion, but that doesn’t mean Washington won’t be impacted. We have a lot of work to do to ensure reproductive justice for all people in our state, but I am confident that Washington is up to the task.”
“We are in a critical moment in our state and in our country,” says Kia Guarino, Executive Director at Pro-Choice Washington. “This legislation – coupled with local investments in abortion funds like the Northwest Abortion Access Fund and in abortion clinics to meet the unprecedented need of patients at home and from other states – are important steps in protecting abortion access for all.”
“Thanks to the strong support and unwavering commitment of leaders like Councilmember Morales, Councilmember Herbold, and others in Seattle and across the state, our Planned Parenthood health centers are, and will remain, open to abortion patients from across the country,” said Yvette Maganya, Washington State Government Relations Manager at Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates. “No matter what state you live in, no matter who your lawmakers and governor are, providers in Washington are here to welcome you with open arms.”
These two pieces of legislation will be heard in Councilmember Morales’ Neighborhoods, Education, Civil Rights and Culture Committee tomorrow, July 22nd, and up for vote at Full Council on August 9th.