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King County Council votes to protect reproductive freedom, declaring it 'law of the land'

On Tuesday, the King County Council passed legislation to declare its support for reproductive freedom.

KING COUNTY, Wash. — Ahead of a potential overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision, the King County Council passed new legislation Tuesday supporting reproductive freedom and declaring it the "law of the land" in King County no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately decides.

“We must also renew our commitment to making abortion care widely accessible in King County and Washington state, including to anyone who needs to flee their own home in order to exercise their reproductive rights safely, legally and with dignity," said Councilmember Claudia Balducci.

Balducci and Councilmember Jeanne Kohl-Welles brought the motion forward after reports of a draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Councilmembers Rod Dembowski, Dave Upthegrove, Sarah Perry, Girmay Zahilay and Joe McDermott also cosponsored the motion.

If the Roe v. Wade decision were to be overturned, it would likely lead to abortion bans in several states including neighboring Idaho and Wyoming.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, Washington state would likely become the closest abortion provider for many more individuals, with projected increases of up to 385%.

On Wednesday, May 11, U.S. senators are expected to vote on a new bill that would guarantee the federal right to an abortion.

Although Democrats are not expected to get the needed 60 votes to break a Republican filibuster, Sen. Patty Murray and other Democrats are pushing forward alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

"We're going to remember everyone who votes against the right to an abortion, and this November, we'll use our voices and our votes," Murray said. "We're not going to let anyone forget."

Recent abortion rights rallies in Seattle included support from Murray, Gov. Jay Inslee, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, King County Executive Dow Constantine and the Seattle mayor's office.

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