Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell announced his administration would seek a $250,000 investment to fund abortion care, denouncing the U.S. Supreme Court decision reversing decades-old constitutional protections for abortion Friday.
Harrell condemned the overturning of the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, announcing that his administration would seek to fund efforts to expand access to reproductive health care through the Northwest Abortion Access Fund.
“Where we can counter this, we must. Seattle will remain a place where we lead with reproductive justice and where abortion and reproductive health care are available to all who seek it,” Harrell said in a statement.
Friday’s outcome will have cascading effects, he said, including an increase in maternal and infant mortality and poverty.
The implications of the Friday outcome, he said, will disproportionately impact women of color, who are already bearing the brunt of child care in the U.S., and women, transgender and nonbinary people will be forced to seek unsafe abortions, he added.
While Washington state is not among the 13 states with trigger laws automatically banning abortion after the Supreme Court ruling, or even among those likely to consider bans in the near future, many local leaders are denouncing the decision and calling for strengthened abortion protections.
King County Executive Dow Constantine similarly said the county would allocate $1 million toward expanding abortion access, of which $500,000 would go to the Northwest Abortion Access Fund and $500,000 in emergency funds for Public Health – Seattle & King County.
Members of the Seattle City Council, which would have to approve such an investment by the city, also expressed support for abortion on Friday.
“One in four women in this country have had an abortion. I am one of them. And I am terrified and outraged for the many people who will need abortion care today and every day forthcoming, particularly Black and brown folks across the country,” Councilmember Tammy Morales said. “Make no mistake, this ruling is the Supreme Court mandating forced pregnancy, taking away the right to self-determination and personal freedom.”
Councilmember Kshama Sawant is expected to introduce legislation Friday afternoon declaring Seattle a “sanctuary city” for abortions.