(The Center Square) – A majority of King County councilmembers passed a non-binding resolution that declared their opposition to Roe v. Wade being overturned in this county.
The majority sees Roe v. Wade as the “law of the land,” in King County and declared its support for “reproductive freedom.”
Councilmembers Claudia Balducci and Jeanne Kohl-Welles brought the motion forward to the council on May 10 with all council members voting in favor of the legislation except for Councilmember Reagan Dunn.
“We must also renew our commitment to making abortion care widely accessible in King County and Washington state, including to anyone who needs to flee their own home in order to exercise their reproductive rights safely, legally and with dignity,” Balducci said in a statement.
Councilmember Girmay Zahilay agreed, saying, “There is no right in the world more fundamental than the right to control your own bodies.”
Last week’s reports of the U.S. Supreme Court’s leaked draft decision that indicated a majority of justices were planning to overturn Roe v. Wade sparked protests across the U.S.., including Washington state.
Gov. Jay Inslee hosted a rally in Seattle where he said “Washington state was a pro-choice state. Washington state is a pro-choice state. And we are going to fight like hell to keep Washington a pro-choice state.”
If Roe V. Wade is overturned, Washington state would likely become the closest abortion provider for many women from Idaho and other states, increasing the incidence of in-state abortions.
Per the Guttmacher Institure, 75% of abortion patients are poor or low income, and many are prohibited from using their insurance coverage for abortion. With the typical abortion at 10 weeks costing $550 and rising, thousands of people may turn to local abortion funds for financial and practical support.
Some of those funds may come from King County if the current majority pairs actions with words.
“The decision to repeal Roe v. Wade would endanger many lives, especially low-income people and people of color. We will continue to support reproductive rights in King County,” said Councilmember Zahilay.
A federal Democrat-backed bill called the “Women’s Health Protection Act” failed in the U.S. Senate on May 10 with a final tally of 49 to 51. That bill would have established a federal law “to protect a person’s ability to determine whether to continue or end a pregnancy and to protect a health care provider’s ability to provide abortion services.”
The Washington Health Department offers abortion coverage for people who meet eligibility requirements if they are not capable of paying for their own. To be eligible, a woman would need to be a part of the Apple Health Managed Care plan or the Apple Health for Pregnant Women plan that is a part of Washington’s Medicaid coverage.