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‘We will aid & abet abortion’ — Seattle responds to Supreme Court ruling with protests and ‘sanctuary city’ plans

A message at 12th and Pine (Image: @ShoutYrAbortion)

As officials responded with anger and pledges to protect access in the city and across the state, thousands marched in downtown Seattle Friday night, with large groups gathering in Westlake and in front of the Seattle Federal Office Building following the Supreme Court ruling reversing Roe vs. Wade and eliminating the constitutional right to abortion.

The protests followed demonstrations in May including marches and rallies on Capitol Hill after the court’s decision was leaked. They come as the city is celebrating Pride with festivals, parties and celebrations on Broadway and across Pike/Pine, and the annual downtown march on Sunday. The return of longtime Pride tradition the Seattle Dyke March is slated for Saturday night.

 

State and local officials are pledging to maintain access to abortion and reproductive health services — and making preparations to be a “sanctuary” for those in need.

“The law remains unchanged in Washington state, but the threat to patient access and privacy has never been more dangerous. Even in Washington state, Republicans have introduced about 40 bills in the past six years to roll back abortion rights and access to reproductive care,” Governor Jay Inslee said in a statement Friday morning as Washington joined Oregon and California in “a Multi-State Commitment to defend access to reproductive health care, including abortion and contraceptives, and committed to protecting patients and doctors against efforts by other states to export their abortion bans to our states.”

King County Executive Dow Constantine, meanwhile, announced $1 million “in emergency funding to ensure safe access to abortion in King County.”

Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell said his office is seeking to spend $250,000 “in efforts to expand access to reproductive health care through the Northwest Abortion Access Fund.”

“More people will come to Seattle from out of state to seek safe and accessible reproductive care, which is why we’re responding to this unprecedented moment in our supplemental budget proposal,” Harrell said in a statement.

The King County Prosecutor’s office said it would join more than 80 jurisdictions across the country refusing to prosecute “those who seek, assist in or provide abortions.” Dan Satterberg, King County Prosecuting Attorney, called the Supreme Court decision “an affront to 50 years of settled jurisprudence and a fundamental attack on access to reproductive healthcare.”

District 3 City Councilmember Kshama Sawant representing Capitol Hill and the Central District was part of Friday night’s downtown protests after earlier in the day announcing new legislation to strengthen Seattle’s place as an “abortion rights sanctuary city.” The proposed legislation would “prevent Seattle police officers from processing arrest warrants related to anti-abortion laws around the country, for both patients and their doctors and other care providers.” Sawant said she also wants the city to fund free abortion services “for all those seeking sanctuary from anti-abortion laws around the country and for all Seattle residents.”

In her statement on the legislation, Sawant attacked the nation’s Democratic leadership for its inaction.

“Today we face the single biggest attack on women, queer and pregnant people, and reproductive rights in most of our lifetimes, and this right-wing Supreme Court has also given every indication that they plan to carry out draconian attacks on LGBTQ rights,” Sawant said. “Working people cannot rely on the Democratic Party and their NGO allies, who failed to mount a fight against the right. We must get independently organized.”

Businesses on Capitol Hill have also responded. Optimism Brewing pledged to donate $1 from every pint sold to the National Network of Abortion Funds.

Meanwhile, earlier in the week as the ruling was expected to come down in Washington D.C., a new wheat-pasted message went up at the corner of Pine and 12th on the side of the liquor store sometimes used for advertising but also a popular place for graffiti and messages of protest.

“We will aid and abet abortion,” it read.

 

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Summer of love
Summer of love
3 months ago

Sawant always has to grab the bullhorn and make it about herself. She should sit this one out after her campaigning in swing states and op ed in 2016 against Clinton.that helped elect Trump

Mimi
Mimi
3 months ago
Reply to  Summer of love

100 percent. Let’s all thank Sawant for the justices Trump appointed that got us here.

Mimi
Mimi
3 months ago

What a devasting time. We should absolutely aid women from other states access abortion, without question. That said, thousands of women are going to be coming to west coast states for abortions now which will mean longer wait times and less appointment availability for women in those states. The negative impact of this ruling is going to be felt by women in every state, even where it is still legal.

C_Kathes
C_Kathes
3 months ago
Reply to  Mimi

Consider donating to Medical Students for Choice, which supports med students training to perform abortions. https://msfc.org/

Silver Lining
Silver Lining
3 months ago
Reply to  Mimi

Look at abortion rates – fewer people get abortions now than before Roe (i.e., when abortion was illegal in many places). It’s just not nearly as common anymore. Sexual activity across the board is down, and birth control is far more varied and widely available, not to mention widespread access to sex ed info online.

Charles P
Charles P
3 months ago

Oh Sawant… not sure what more I can add. The hypocrisy is right there in her own words in regards to 2016. And perhaps an occasional shout out to your District might be welcome now and then.

It’s great what the city and police have said they will do to aid abortions from out of state. That said, please Blac Blockers and Sawantists, don’t burn down our blue cities in rage over this ruling – you’ll just feed into the hands of the right (once again) and punish those on your side. Goddamn Mississippi, god bless (not in the Trumpy way) Seattle and Washington State.