This morning, the jizz of this country’s all-powerful conservative circle-jerk, the Supreme Court, decided that pregnant people should no longer have the constitutional right to an abortion. The ruling also put decisions such as Griswold (contraception), Lawrence (anal "bedroom laws"), and Obergefell (gay marriage) on the chopping block if Justice Clarence Thomas gets his way. Of course, people will still have abortions, they will just die more often when they do. Good call.
This is especially bad news for the nine states that have pre-Roe bans, which the Court has now made enforceable, and the 13 states that passed “trigger bans,” which will almost immediately ban abortion with this ruling.
Anyway, Democrats, despite failing to codify the right before the decision, have made their opposition vocal this morning.
The president, who attracted some suspect voters in 2020 because he pledged to make abortion the “law of the land,” spoke at the White House this morning. He said the Court set back America 150 years, but he said he couldn’t do anything about it.
"Let me be very clear and unambiguous. The only way we can secure a woman's right to choose ... is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade as federal law. No executive action from the President can do that," he said.
Congress also passed the buck.
In a press release, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell busted out the passive voice to say that "every legislative tool and initiative process should be considered.” While she did not offer a clear path forward to securing abortion rights—or for passing court reform—she did promo a bill she’s cosponsoring that would “give Americans strong, enforceable rights to protect their most sensitive health information.” She says the bill would essentially prevent governments from forcing corporations to narc on people who get abortions.
In a statement, Seattle House Rep. Pramila Jayapal called for filibuster reform. In true Democrat fashion, she asked the people losing their rights to vote a little harder in order to get a clear, pro-choice majority in the Senate and to maintain it in House as the midterm elections approach.
On this side of the country, Governors from West Coast states launched a “West Coast offense” to protect abortion in California, Oregon, and Washington. The Governors didn’t make any groundbreaking promises. No, we are not seceding. Instead, they’re going to expand rights and access in their states, and protect doctors and anyone fleeing to blue states for abortion care. More info to come Saturday morning at 10 am, when Governor Inslee plans to hold a press conference.
Speaking of the Governor, Inslee told Axios he wants to protect abortion as a constitutional right in Washington, but he’ll need a two-thirds majority in the Legislature to get that.
Without quite that powerful of Democratic hold on the Legislature, the state could more likely pass a bill to “stop hospital mergers that limit abortion access.” Unfortunately, the Christians have already wrecked havoc locally. In Seattle, Swedish stopped doing abortions, and Virginia Mason said it would, but even before then “about 41% of hospital beds in Washington state were located at religious-affiliated hospitals, according to a report from the nonprofit MergerWatch," Axios reports.
We really don’t see any money until we get down to the county level. This morning, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced $1 million in emergency funding to “bolster our response and live up to our values.” In a press release, he said he would partner with King County Council Chair Claudia Balducci to ask the council to allocate $500,000 to the Northwest Abortion Access Fund. He will personally authorize the other $500,000 for an emergency fund at Public Health – Seattle & King County to better respond to a surge of abortion refugees.
In a statement, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said his office was "seeking to invest" $250,000 in the Northwest Abortion Access Fund.
The council has already said it would allocate money during the supplemental budget, but when I bugged them for the last few weeks, no one gave me a hard number. Now, Councilmember Kshama Sawant said she plans to introduce legislation to make Seattle a “sanctuary city” for pregnant people and their doctors. Other cities like Oakland, CA, have already done this.
In a press conference, Sawant said her legislation would prevent the cops from processing arrest warrants from anywhere in the country for both patients and their doctors and other care providers. She urged the state to do the same. This effort is bolstered by King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg joining 82 other elected prosecutors in promising to refuse to prosecute anyone who seeks, assists in, or provides abortion care.
In a similar vein, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda said someone’s gotta do something to keep people from harassing pregnant people seeking an abortion. Watch out for an "anti-nuisance" regulation.
If you are unmoved by the promises of our electeds, head over to the Federal Building this evening at 5 pm.