How the “Roe v. Wade” Overturn Should Affect Washington State

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On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the provisions of Roe v. Wade that provided a constitutional right to an abortion for U.S. citizens. The weight of this decision carries an impact that echoes through the nation.  

The Supreme Court’s decision assigns responsibility regarding abortion rights to each state individually. The state of Washington has declared that abortion will remain legal in the state.  This means that the responsibility of providing access to an abortion and abortion care will be placed on official Washington state medical facilities. 

However, neighboring states have ruled against legal abortions within their states. These states include Idaho, Wyoming and South Dakota. The states of Idaho and Wyoming have ruled on a trigger ban that deems abortions illegal in the state 30 days after the Supreme Court’s ruling (July 24, 2022).  

While abortion is currently legal in the state of Montana, state legislation has restricted access to abortions for out-of-state patients whose residency is in a state where abortion is illegal.  

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee recently issued a directive that prevents Washington’s police from involvement in out-of-state investigatory requests pertaining to abortion. This directive, in addition to the implementation of regulations that are developed alongside California and Oregon, aim to ensure that the state of Washington serves as a safe haven for Americans seeking a safe abortion.