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Friday, January 25, 2013

Republican Bill Would Outlaw All Abortion in Washington State

Posted by on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 at 3:29 PM

A Senate bill introduced Monday by state Senator Don Benton (R-Vancouver), ostensibly seeking to require teenagers to notify their parents at least 48 hours before seeking an abortion, would actually do much more than that: Closer reading of the bill shows it would repeal existing abortion laws, essentially banning all abortions in Washington State.

"This bill purports to be about parental notification but actually seeks to criminalize all abortions for all woman at any age by repealing the section of state law that makes abortions legal," explains Planned Parenthood Policy Director Jennifer Allen.

SB 5156 would completely repeal RCW 9.02.100, otherwise known as Washington's abortion law. The law was adopted by public vote in 1991 to shore up state law with the US Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade (so that if Roe were ever overturned, Washington women would still continue to have the same rights and protections. It states, among other things: "Every woman has the fundamental right to choose or refuse to have an abortion."

The bill would also repeal in its entirety 9.02.110, "The state 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."

Allen says that Planned Parenthood's legal team is still trying to suss out how, exactly, this bill's passage would affect women's access to abortion providers in Washington state, given that Roe is still the federal law of the land. Regardless, it's troubling: Washington voters have repeatedly confirmed women's right to make their own pregnancy decisions, beginning in 1970, when voters approved Referendum 20 and legalized abortion in the early months of pregnancy.

"We don't believe it's an accident," Allen says.

That means that at least 18 state senators are actively working to ban abortion against the repeated and well-documented will of Washington voters.

Let's be generous for a moment and assume that the bill's 18 co-sponsors—most of them white Republican men—somehow missed the fact that their bill makes all abortions in our state illegal, that's it is a mistake. (I have a call in to Senator Benton to ask him what the fuck he's thinking, but he hasn't yet gotten back to me.)

The bill is still very troubling.

It seeks to shame young, vulnerable women while throwing up road blocks for seeking abortions under the guise of government concern for "protecting family unity and preserving the family as a viable social unit." As its name suggests, the bill seeks to force physicians to give parental notification at least 48 hours before an un-emancipated woman (i.e. a minor or a woman under guardian supervision) can receive an abortion or face charges of a gross misdemeanor as well as the prospect of "civil action" from the girl's family.

"In our experience, most teens already involve parents in their pregnancy decisions," Allen says, and the ones who do not "don't have a parent that they can’t talk to about this, or come from abusive or violent situations. This bill puts the most vulnerable teens at risk during a crisis point in their lives."

And sure, there are provisions for a judicial waiver to allow teenagers to escape telling their parents about their planned abortions but what scared, pregnant teenager is going have the foresight to petition a judge for such a waver when she's in the midst of a personal crisis?

The bill also calls for a monthly report documenting how many 48-hour notices have been issued, as well as "the pregnant woman's age, the number of prior pregnancies and prior abortions of the pregnant woman" to be made available to the public. It doesn't matter that the patients' names "may not be used" on the forms; what this amounts to is an invasive level of questioning that seeks to publicly shame young women about their reproductive decisions and discourage them from having abortions.

In summation, this bill is totally fucked, and Senator Mike Padden (R-Spokane), a co-sponsor of the legislation and the newly-appointed chair of the Senate Committee on Law and Justice* has promised to give it a hearing in his committee. Thankfully, this legislation will never pass in the House, but that's not the point: The point is, we're not talking about a few Republican senators backing this batshit legislation, we're talking about most of them. We now have 18 senators in our state—16 of them Republican—actively trying to ban abortion against the will of Washington voters.

*Thanks once again to that fink, Rodney Tom.


Comments (72) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
Parental notification can get very dangerous if your parents are the sort to get violent or kick you out should you choose abortion. Even without the other language, this bill is bad news.
Posted by wxPDX on January 25, 2013 at 3:37 PM · Report this
Waiver, not waver.
Posted by Misspelled words make me respect you a little less on January 25, 2013 at 3:46 PM · Report this
Kinison 3
I'm assuming that you are reporting this, because the Democrats we voted for are so stupid that they wouldn't be able to detect this type of political ruse?
Posted by Kinison on January 25, 2013 at 3:46 PM · Report this
What I don't get is why people think 14 or 16 years old is too young to make a decision about whether or not to get an abortion, but old enough to raise a baby.
Posted by Reader/Poster on January 25, 2013 at 3:52 PM · Report this
@3 - She's reporting it because it's outrageous.

I happen to have installed Jailbreak the Patriarchy before coming to slog to test it out. It reads as impossible legislating men to tell them what they are allowed to do.
Posted by goodjobguy on January 25, 2013 at 3:54 PM · Report this
Pick1 6
@3 It might, just might, be because when Dems rightfully shut this down, Republicans will try to claim that Dems wouldn't even work with them on parental notification of abortions, which still has popularity on its side (as sad as that is) and the public should be aware of the real reason it lost.

Even though it likely would get struck down on just the informing piece alone.
Posted by Pick1 on January 25, 2013 at 4:01 PM · Report this
Oh HELL no.
Posted by kersy on January 25, 2013 at 4:02 PM · Report this
This is the sort of crap that needs to be reported on every news station in Washington State, as reported by Planned Parenthood.
Posted by SeattleKim on January 25, 2013 at 4:31 PM · Report this
CodyBolt 9
is this what its like to live in a red state? jesus can we get these pig fuckers out of the senete yet?
Posted by CodyBolt on January 25, 2013 at 4:42 PM · Report this
The bill also calls for a monthly report documenting how many 48-hour notices have been issued, as well as "the pregnant woman's age, the number of prior pregnancies and prior abortions of the pregnant woman" to be made available to the public.


Also, thanks for the use of the word "fink" - I do love that.
Posted by westello on January 25, 2013 at 4:58 PM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 11
Earlier I was dreaming of splitting the state, and what an awesome place Western Washington would become. But now I'd just feel bad for the people stuck in Eastern Washington.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on January 25, 2013 at 4:59 PM · Report this
Farbe 12
Surely none of you at the Stranger were under any illusion that Sen. Benton was anything but a slimy weasel?
Posted by Farbe on January 25, 2013 at 5:02 PM · Report this
This is worse than the Utah abortion laws....
Posted by StuckInUtah on January 25, 2013 at 5:09 PM · Report this
Mark in Colorado 14
It still holds true: The only good republican is a dead one.
Yes, yes I know my screen avatar is of that hideous piece of shit Reagan (albeit artistically made to look like he had Kaposi's lesions all over his ugly Alzheimer's head stricken face) who should be thankful I never contracted HIV.
Posted by Mark in Colorado on January 25, 2013 at 5:14 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 15
again, the dems control the house & the veto pen. why even bother?
Posted by Max Solomon on January 25, 2013 at 5:14 PM · Report this
urn 16
It would be cool if new bills had to prove that there was a problem they're attempting to solve. The current law looks like it provides abortion rights to anyone who needs them. What's the problem they're trying to solve?
Posted by urn on January 25, 2013 at 5:19 PM · Report this
blackhook 17
Republicans continue to try to take us back to the Dark Ages - just like their religion has been doing for hundreds of years.
Posted by blackhook on January 25, 2013 at 5:19 PM · Report this
Mike Padden was a jerk when he was in the legislature before serving as a judge. He is now a jerk off.
Posted by Concha on January 25, 2013 at 5:26 PM · Report this
A whole new angle on "slip it in."
Posted by Sarahsuperstar on January 25, 2013 at 11:26 PM · Report this
Let's make a deal. Fundies get to have their little Taliban state but they start paying their own way. Each county gets state funds in proportional to what it contributes, and political refugees (gays, people of color, independent-thinking womenfolk, and everyone else who's sick of creeper Christians), get automatic asylum in the civilized areas. No more welfare for bigots who clearly have too much time on their hands!

The state senators of Bumfuckvilleistan can debate their little culty hearts out and the rest of us can stop giving a fuck.
Posted by K3 on January 26, 2013 at 12:08 AM · Report this
@ 9 yes red state with a dem governor and a dem house

Posted by Seattle14 on January 26, 2013 at 12:14 AM · Report this
They know this is their last chance to get abortion up before the SCOTUS before they're finally marginalized culturally and the far right walking dead on the bench die off.
Posted by mubhappy on January 26, 2013 at 2:36 AM · Report this
I would think that reporting the health statistics of a patient and then having these facts posted publicly would violate the federal law called HIPA which protects your private health information.
Posted by Crochetshannon on January 26, 2013 at 6:33 AM · Report this
Zotz 24
If any Ds in the ledge are reading, I hope they facilitate LOTS of votes on this bill.

Get the Rs (and the D scum -- I'm looking at you, Marco, you fat piece of catholic shit) on record. Their votes will make ready fodder for ads in 2014.

Also too: Sheldon will probably get a pass (Western Bumfuckistan, aka Mason county and 35th Dist), but Shin's constituency (21st LD) should hound him from office.
Posted by Zotz on January 26, 2013 at 10:34 AM · Report this
@23 Someone under 18 or with a legal guardian does not have right to privacy, if the guardian waves that right, which they would do by signing the forms. Apparently they also don't have sovereign control over their own bodies either, but only in one direction - the same people sponsoring this bill would go absolutely batshit if those same parents forced their kid to have an abortion against the daughter's will. I wonder if there is a box to check on the form for that.
Posted by gnot on January 26, 2013 at 2:05 PM · Report this
Batshit crazy and total Bullshit. Vote these jerks out soon
Posted by Joan Chudy on January 26, 2013 at 6:41 PM · Report this
Puty 27
What K3 said. Also I second Westello's praise for "fink".
Posted by Puty on January 27, 2013 at 8:11 AM · Report this
Frank Blethen's vodka distiller 28
Benton needs to go back to his cave.
Posted by Frank Blethen's vodka distiller on January 27, 2013 at 9:46 AM · Report this
I'm sure that bill is dead on arrival.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on January 28, 2013 at 8:09 AM · Report this
It's time for men 2 have COMPLETE Physical! b4 they get a viagra rx,then have female panel view results & sexual hx prior 2 approval & no insurance accepted!
Posted by Magsk on January 28, 2013 at 11:39 AM · Report this
Why do people in our state keep voting for these GOP candidates who want to roll back the clock on women and minority rights????
Posted by LynnB on January 28, 2013 at 1:48 PM · Report this
Get in the present time. The Supreme Court has ruled. It's time to ban politicians from having anything to do with a woman's rights. It's time to ban politicians.
Posted by motomo43 on January 28, 2013 at 4:28 PM · Report this
I can not believe the venom that is coming out on this twitter. This is the first time I have viewed and participated on anything like this before. But, because I so support this legislation that is to be proposed I am participating. For any of you to think that it is OK to kill an unborn person you are mistaken. I don’t think any of you should think it is ok to painfully dismember a small human being. Or worse, to puncture the head of a very much alive baby between 6-9 months gestation and sucking his/her brain out to be sure it is dead before the abortionist pulls the dead baby out. That procedure is called “Partial birth abortion”! Every woman has the right to control her own body; she does not have the right to painfully dismember her child. And are you aware, any girl < 18 has to get permission from her parents to get an aspirin at school, but that it is ok for the school nurse to take her in a car to an abortion mill and violate her body with an abortion that could maim her for life, or worse, kill her. Don’t be so uninformed. I could go on but I have to presume that nothing I say here to enlighten this group of twitters could change you heart or your mind to embrace life and not death. I guess if I could have a rational conversation with one of you, then it has been worth the try.
Posted by Mar on January 28, 2013 at 4:37 PM · Report this
Why not castrate the male participant in the pregnancy? Start making laws to control the men who helped create the pregnancy. Or maybe automatically castrate men if they register Republican
Posted by MAGICJO on January 28, 2013 at 5:12 PM · Report this
Do you not understand? Abortion laws allow men to do whatever they want and not have any consequences for their actions when it comes to sexual relations. Abortion laws also give women the power to deny men fatherhood. You can only become a father in this country if the women says you can. It is all up to her and you have no say in the matter. The law even says that a wife can deny her husband any say as to whether she will bear him his child or not, or even tell him that she is pregnant. So you see gentlemen, you have no rights at all to determine if and when you can be a father. As a woman, I think you should be outraged! And by the way, there are countless pro-life Dem's too. This has nothing to do with politics, this is a human rights issue. Everyone should have a right to life! Mar
Posted by Mar on January 28, 2013 at 6:33 PM · Report this
Don Benton should join the Jihads since he's from the 7th century.
Posted by emova2 on January 28, 2013 at 7:06 PM · Report this
I am in support of Mar. A baby is also human whose right to live should not be deprived of. I am also a woman and it seems to me that the legislation is rather an attempt to protect lives of both the baby and its mother at the same time. Not only killing the baby, abortion is dangerous to the mother too.

A woman has right to decide whether she should have sex, and whether she is ready to bear a child. If she is not ready for the latter, why should she go for the former, when both are connected? A woman has right to refuse sex, doesn't she?

With this legislation, it is more likely that young women will need to develop more self-control and become more responsible people. Isn't this the quality we need for our citizens? Isn't this a kind of people who are more respectable? Aren't we in need of people who, having more mental power to control own behaviour, can lead the state to its betterment?
Posted by Chan on January 28, 2013 at 9:17 PM · Report this
I am in support of Mar. A baby is also human whose right to live should not be deprive of. I am also a woman and I read the legislation as an attempt to protect lives of both the baby and the mother. Abortion is, not only killing the baby, dangerous to its mother too.

A young woman always has right to decide whether she should have sex, and whether she is ready to bear a child. If she is not ready for the latter, why should she go for the former? Why shouldn't she refuse a man's desire, if he is not going to take any responsibility for his own action?

With the legislation, it is more likely that young women will develop an ability of self-control and become more responsible people. Isn't this a quality we need for our citizens? Aren't these people more respectable? As a natural consequence of mental strength to control own behaviour, they will be more capable of leading their own lives to better and more desirable conditions, and may even be able to lead the state to its betterment. Aren't we in need of this kind of people ? Why lamenting?
Posted by Chan on January 28, 2013 at 9:41 PM · Report this
What about the baby's right to be born? I bet all of you were prolife before you were born!
Posted by Big al cable guy on January 29, 2013 at 7:06 AM · Report this
Chan you can read the bill hanging upside down from a port crane, but it's still a bill written word for friggin' word by AMERICANS UNITED FOR LIFE- not citizens of Washington state. Koch money, Citizens United, Boehner and GOP all sleep with AUL. Compromises on abortion are not what they want. So spare us, please. We know how to read.
Posted by VEA on February 7, 2013 at 9:55 PM · Report this
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