ACLU of Washington comment on the signing of Washington’s abortion and gender-affirming care bills into law

News Release: 
Thursday, April 27, 2023
OLYMPIA – Today, Gov. Jay Inslee signed a package of bills into law, passed by the Washington state Legislature, that take significant and meaningful steps toward defending and expanding access to abortion and gender-affirming health care. These bills include:
  • Washington My Health, My Data (HB 1155), a historic, first-of-its-kind law, which reduces barriers to abortion and gender affirming care access by protecting people’s private health data.
  • No cost sharing for abortion care (SB 5242), which reduces financial barriers to accessing abortion.
  • Protections for health care providers (HB 1340), which protects the Washington licenses of those providing reproductive or gender affirming care.
  • Shield law (HB 1469), which better protects people seeking, providing, or helping others obtain reproductive or gender affirming care that is lawful in Washington state, including by preventing nonfugitive extradition, and limiting Washington courts and law enforcement agencies’ cooperation with out-of-state investigations or legal proceedings.
  • Abortion medication access (SB 5768), which authorizes the Department of Corrections to purchase mifepristone, a safe and proven effective medication abortion drug, for distribution to health care providers.
Additionally, the budget approved by the Legislature and Governor includes funding to help address the increased demand for reproductive care in our state – for those who live in Washington and those who come to our state to access care without fear of prosecution or harassment.

Leah Rutman, health care and liberty policy counsel at the ACLU of Washington, had this reaction:

“With the Governor’s signature, Washington tangibly demonstrated its nationwide leadership in protecting and improving access to reproductive and gender-affirming care. By taking a holistic approach to addressing barriers to care, these bills will have a positive impact not only for everyone in our state but for those seeking care in our state who already face systemic barriers: Black, Indigenous and people of color, individuals with low income, and the LGBTQIA2S+ community. These bills are important steps toward defending and expanding abortion and gender-affirming care access, here and through their example, across the country.

“We wish to thank the prime sponsors and champions of these bills for their leadership, including: Rep. Jessica Bateman, Rep. Drew Hansen, Rep. Marcus Riccelli, Rep. Vandana Slatter, Sen. Annette Cleveland, Sen. Manka Dhingra, Sen. Karen Keiser, Sen. Jesse Salomon, Sen. Yasmin Trudeau, Attorney General Bob Ferguson, and Governor Jay Inslee.”