Washington State Introduces A Bill To Abolish Abortion
Rep. Matt Shea (R-Spokane Valley) has recently filed House Bill 2154 which, if passed and signed into law, would abolish abortion in the state of Washington. This bill is known as the “Abolition of Abortion in Washington Act.”
The bill underwent it’s initial reading on March 21st according to KHQ News. Currently the bill resides in the House Health Care & Wellness Committee. Shea co-sponsors the bill along with three other representatives Vicki Kraft (R-Vancouver), Brad Klipper (R-Kennewick) and Jesse Young (R-Gig Harbor), according to a report by Christiannews.net.
The intent of this legislation is clearly stated in the original bill and can be highlighted as a charge to:
“Provide to unborn children the equal protection of the laws of this state; establish that a living human child, from the moment of fertilization upon the fusion of a human spermatozoon with a human ovum, or in the case of asexual reproduction, at the equivalent stage of development, is entitled to the same rights, powers, privileges, justice, and protections as are secured or granted by the laws of this state to any other human person; and treat as void and of no effect any and all federal acts, laws, treaties, decisions, orders or regulations that would deprive an unborn child of the right to life or prohibit the protection of such right.”
This bill defined abortion as follows: “…the act of using or prescribing an instrument, drug, medicine, or any other substance, device, or means to intentionally cause the death of an unborn child.”
Studies show that the state of Washington has seen a decline in abortions by 14% from 2011 to 2014. In 2011, Washington saw 16 abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age and was down to 13.7 in 2014. Washington State currently has no major regulations regarding abortion. This differs from the norm. Many other states have regulations such as mandated waiting periods or parental involvement for those underage. There are also currently no limitations on publicly funded abortions for the state of Washington.
If this bill is signed into law, the legislation directs the attorney general to ensure that it is being enforced in that:
“Prosecuting attorneys shall enforce chapters 9A.32 and 9A.36 RCW in relation to abortion regardless of any contrary or conflicting federal acts, laws, treaties, decisions, orders, or regulations.”
The state of Washington is empowered by the Tenth Amendment of our U.S. Constitution to make such a decision as the amendment clearly states:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
While this is a brave step, Washington state is not the trailblazer on this issue. Several other states including Idaho, Texas, North Carolina Oklahoma and Indiana have all introduced legislation this year which would outlaw abortion in their respective states.