A Seattle-based Planned Parenthood leader said Saturday she’s concerned that a U.S. Supreme Court with Amy Coney Barrett on it will “either gut or overturn Roe v. Wade.”

“Of course, then it gets thrown back to the states,” said Chris Charbonneau, hours after President Donald Trump announced his choice of Barrett, a conservative federal appeals court judge, to succeed Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court. “And a good many states, especially in the middle and southern part of the country, are already geared up to make abortion impossible.”

They include states in the sprawling operation she oversees as president and CEO of both Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands and Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. The chapters will merge in January.


“I would expect on Day One problems in Idaho, Indiana and Kentucky,” Charbonneau said, predicting a resurgence of risky, illegal abortions. “We’re about to enter an exceedingly dangerous time.”

Michelle King, who organizes prayer vigils outside the Planned Parenthood clinic in Bellingham for the national 40 Days for Life campaign, also envisions that Barrett might help bring about a reassessment of Roe v. Wade.


“We’re excited,” she said, noting her family has spent a lot of time on anti-abortion activism.

Still, she acknowledged that overturning the ruling in that landmark case likely won’t mean much locally, given a state law protecting the right to abortion before fetal viability.  

“It’s an uphill battle in Washington,” King said, adding she nonetheless hopes any Supreme Court ruling against abortion would “trickle down.”