From 'fight back' to 'life wins.' Washington leaders weigh in on overturning Roe v Wade: Today So Far
- Local leaders respond to overturning of Roe v Wade.
- Will Washington pause its gas tax?
- SPD is not welcome at Seattle Pride Parade.
- Social housing is one step closer to Seattle's ballot.
This post originally appeared in KUOW's Today So Far newsletter for June 24, 2022.
The Supreme Court knocked down Roe v Wade this morning (officially, since we already knew it was coming). It didn't take long for Washington's leaders and other prominent voices to weigh in, from, "We are going to stand up and fight back" to, "Today, life wins."
The "fight back" crowd includes Gov. Jay Inslee who announced today that Washington is joining forces with Oregon and California to "fight like hell" to protect abortion rights. In a statement with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and California Gov. Gavin Newsom, the three governors said that the West Coast will not only uphold abortion rights, the three states will fend off attempts from outside parties to ban abortions. They will also work to counter efforts to intimidate or investigate people who travel to the states for medical services.
The "Today, life wins" crowd includes Congressmember Dan Newhouse (who made that statement) and Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers who further stated, "This is one of the most momentous days in American history for the dignity and sanctity of every human life." Just about every politician used the news to hype fundraisers or score political points. Though, McMorris Rodgers took it to a dystopian sci-fi level by claiming Democrats have a radical agenda on par with China and North Korea. Read more on that here.
And for what it's worth, Pearl Jam said that, "No one, not the government, not politicians, not the Supreme Court should stand in the way of access to abortion, birth control, or contraceptives. People should have the freedom to choose. Today's decision impacts everyone and it will particularly affect poor women who can’t afford to travel to access health care."
To be clear, despite the federal change from overturning Roe v Wade, nothing will change in Washington state. Individual states will now determine the issue for themselves, and Washington has long upheld abortion rights. But it's important to note that there will be ramifications for health care systems nationally, as two doctors pointed out while talking with KUOW.
Dr. Monica R. McLemore with the University of Washington School of Nursing said, "We need some civil disobedience for clinicians like us who know that that it violates our national standards."
Dr. Megan Eagan-Torkko with the UW Bothell School of Nursing and Health Studies said that one potential result could be health care providers being asked to act as law enforcement. And that would fundamentally change the relationship between doctors and patients and could harm overall health care.
"This decision is, essentially, translating into a breach of trust," Dr. Eagan-Torkko said. "There's going to be a lack of honesty because people will not feel safe disclosing information to their providers. And that's going to translate into worse health care outcomes."
By the way, have you tuned in to the Today So Far Blog? If not, check it out. I'm asking my TSF family to give it a click. Why? It's been a special project for me. And without going into the nuts and bolts of website design, we don't have a link to it on the front page of KUOW.org yet. So I'm really relying on our awesome readers to click on through and see what we've been cranking out.
And we've been cranking out a lot, like how Washington state is not likely to nix any gas taxes anytime soon, despite what President Biden is asking. Or how a social housing issue is primed to be on Seattle's ballot in November (while some folks around town are mounting opposition to it). Also, a bit of a tense back and forth has emerged between Seattle's Pride Parade and the Seattle Police Department. Pride officials said that uniformed police are not welcome in the parade this year. That has not gone over well with SPD's LGBTQ+ officers.
I'm not done...
Across Lake Washington, Bellevue police and King County Sheriff's detectives have taken in two suspects after an investigation into a "crime spree" targeting local trailheads. If you're a local hiker, you're probably already aware of all the car break-ins and thefts that have struck your trails. And finally, vaccines have become available for kids under 5, but that doesn't mean it's easy to find a dose around Seattle.
Everything I mentioned above is available exclusively in the Today So Far Blog. So give it a look. I'd appreciate it.
AS SEEN ON KUOW
Millions of sea creatures died in the extreme heat of June 2021 across British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon. But a new study finds that animals on some beaches escaped with much less damage than others. Fewer shellfish died on beaches that faced north or had overhanging vegetation or cool water seeping up from underground. Read more here. (Courtesy of Julie Barber / Swinomish Indian Tribal Community)
DID YOU KNOW?
It's getting harder for folks to afford household expenses in Washington state.
The nerds at QuoteWizard dove into data from the Household Pulse Survey Data Tables (Census) and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics to see how inflation has affected people since June 2021. Last year, nationally, 8% of those surveyed had a "very difficult time" meeting household expenses. After months of inflation, that number is up to 15% as of May.
It's a similar story in Washington state. Those figures went from 4% to 10% over the year.
Signs of financial difficulty are more and more affecting people in other groups, too. Nationally, QuoteWizard found that fewer people reported having no difficulty meeting expenses, while numbers for those feeling the inflation strain swelled.
ALSO ON OUR MINDS
Twenty-two states have laws in place that will immediately ban abortions or pave the way to ban or severely restrict access to them, following the Supreme Court's historic decision Friday to overturn Roe v. Wade.