Reproductive Rights in Washington State

By Dori Luzzo Gilmour

The United States Supreme Court continues debate on the merits of Roe v Wade and access to abortion: the matter could be sent back to each individual state. In Washington, the law was established 30 years ago.

The statute was signed into law back in 1991 when Washington state voters approved Initiative One-Twenty. Attorney Doug McKinnley details, “It is a Statutory right so the legislature could change it….and it states simply that the states may not deny or interfere with a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion prior to viability of the fetus or to protect her life or health.”

Since 2018, all insurance plans that offer maternal care in Washington state are required to offer free contraceptives with no co-pays and required to fund abortions.

McKinnley says that makes Washington compare well with other states; “Washington is more protective of women’s health care than perhaps any other state in the nation…and you have the democrats who control both houses in the state house  and Jay Inslee to thank for that…because they are the ones who passed it and that’s why it occurred”

McKinnley believes the U-S Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v Wade will be debated for many months with an opinion coming next summer.