OLYMPIA, WA — State Sen. Yasmin Trudeau and State Rep. Drew Hansen have introduced a new shield law to protect those who come to Washington seeking reproductive or gender affirming care.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to upend decades of constitutional protections for reproductive care and abortion rights, many state Legislatures have passed hostile legislation to criminalize or impose civil liability on those seeking reproductive or gender affirming care. House Bill 1469 and Senate Bill 5489 would render anti-abortion laws and judgments from other states unenforceable, un-prosecutable and uncollectable for those who come to Washington.
“I was with my mother when the Dobbs decision was leaked,” said Trudeau. “She was terrified. She was forced to give birth at 14 and that has had a lifelong and generational impact. The America she dreamed of for her children protects freedom, including the freedom to choose the care that is best for them. This is what motivates my work on a policy designed to ensure lifesaving refuge for patients and protects the healthcare workers who provide these vital services.”
This new shield law will:
- Prohibit the issuance of out-of-state subpoenas seeking information related to abortion & reproductive health care services.
- Prohibit out-of-state criminal investigations & arrests seeking communication and other evidence related to abortion & reproductive health care services.
- Prohibit the Governor from extraditing any person for out-of-state charges regarding reproductive health care services.
- Provide a cause of action to recoup damages and other legal costs for hostile out-of-state lawsuits related to reproductive health care services.
- Protect health care service providers from harassment for providing protected health care services
“If other states want to get creative and aggressive in stripping away their residents’ fundamental right to reproductive freedom, then we’re going to be just as creative and aggressive in fighting back,” said Hansen. “We have always been committed to protecting access to reproductive care here in Washington, and we will exercise the absolute limits of our authority to keep it that way for anyone who comes here.”
This shield law is part of a comprehensive legislative package introduced by House & Senate Democrats to protect access to reproductive health care. The bills in the package are expected to have their first public committee hearings Tuesday, Jan. 24.
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