Local political implications in the Roe v. Wade decision | Roegner

Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent overturning of Roe v. Wade, there is now a new relationship between states that allowed abortion, and those that did not.

Abortion was already banned in at least nine states, and women scrambled to make adjustments and reschedule appointments in states that still allowed abortions. Already we are seeing a change in fundraising and stocking up on abortion pills.

Gov. Jay Inslee signed a directive prohibiting the Washington State Patrol from cooperating with out-of-state abortion investigations. Inslee stressed that he did not have jurisdiction over local law enforcement agencies.

Now the state’s largest county has barred its law enforcement agency from aiding other states’ abortion investigations.

Specifically, it bars the King County Sherriff’s Office and other executive agencies from cooperating with any person who has sought or provided reproductive care that is legal in Washington. It also bars the King County Jail from accepting bookings for abortion-related out-of-state issues and bars the county health department from providing information related to prosecutions.

King County, led by Executive Dow Constantine, has already stepped forward with support with $500,000 for the Northwest Abortion Access Fund and another $500,000 for to support the Seattle-King County health department in anticipation of thousands of people traveling to our state or the county to seek an abortion. In neighboring Idaho, a law slated to go into effect would criminalize all abortions, although according to AP, “physicians who perform abortions to save a patient’s life, or in cases of rape or incest, can use that information as a legal defense during the criminal trial.” Care providers in Idaho would face felony charges punishable by up to five years in prison.

That could send more than 1,600 Idaho women to visit clinics in Washington and Oregon. The King County Council voted 8-1 to approve the emergency abortion funding. Councilmember Reagan Dunn, whose bid for Congress this year fell short, was the lone “no” vote. He has been supportive of abortion in the past, but voted “no” on this issue because he did not believe King County taxpayers should pay for non-residents.

Federal Way resident Bob Roegner is a former mayor of Auburn. Contact bjroegner@comcast.net.