*By Julie Barrett, Founder, Conservative Ladies of Washington
Today the Washington Attorney General, Bob Ferguson announced a new website is available for “health care providers, seekers and helpers in Washington” seeking pro bono legal services regarding their reproductive rights.
When I first saw this I thought it odd considering Washington has some of the most PRO abortion laws in the country and there is probably not an easier place to get access to abortion services. The alert references “radical laws in other states creating chaos for providers, out of state patients and individuals assisting their friends and family to access health care.” I have yet to hear about any issues in obtaining abortion services for people coming to Washington perhaps from states with laws limiting abortion to the first trimester. Last I checked, Americans were still free to travel about the country for any reason they please and abide by the laws of the state they are in at any given time.
My phone rang this afternoon and I recognized it was a reporter from the Seattle Times I have spoken to before regarding abortion issues she was writing about so I assumed she was likely contacting me regarding proposed abortion legislation. She wanted to get a statement from me about this announcement from the AG today. As I suggested it unnecessary and questioned who would be paying for this, she shared with me that teenagers could be coming from Idaho (a state with more limitations on abortion) for an abortion and perhaps legal issues would ensue if the parents found out.
Ohhhhhhh…I get it now. As she’s talking I start piecing together proposed legislation like SB 5489 and it’s companion bill HB 1469 which would essentially make Washington a “sanctuary state” for “protected healthcare services” (abortion, medical and surgical gender transition services) including minor children of no minimum age. We’ve been screaming loudly about SB 5599 which allows children to get these services without parental consent in Washington state and that bill is connected to SB 5489 which declares these protected services.
The new website for free legal services is in anticipation of the passage of SB 5489 and SB 5599. They will have all of the framework in place for when these bills pass later in the session. SB 5489 has an emergency clause which would have it take effect immediately upon passage.
It doesn’t say in the alert where the funds are coming from to pay for these legal services, but I think it’s safe to say they will come from the Washington taxpayers. Additionally concerning is the launch of a new “Reproductive Rights Complaint Form” for people to use if they have experienced deception, harassment, or other misconduct at a crisis pregnancy center” or “experienced harassment at a clinic or other reproductive health care facility.” People can also use this website to report anyone who denies them an abortion or refuses to fill a prescription for birth control, emergency contraception or abortion pills (available at most pharmacies). It’s pretty easy to see how this could be abused and people would use this as a way to retaliate against pro life groups or crisis pregnancy centers.
All of these things – the proposed legislation, the complaint form and the pro bono legal services – are all interconnected, well-planned and will work seamlessly to make Washington a sanctuary state for abortion and gender transition services while simultaneously paving the way to target pro-life groups and organizations.
The worst thing we could do is be silent and accept defeat. Both of these bills, SB 5489 and SB 5599, have not yet been passed and we must continue to make noise, send emails, call the legislative hotline and alert as many citizens as we possibly can about what the radical left is working to do in Washington. Protecting minor children is not a political issue and parents of all walks of life and political affiliation want the right to protect their children.
This is a hill to die on.
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