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Tipsheet

Washington State Governor Signs Law Prohibiting ‘Texas-Style’ Abortion Lawsuits

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

A measure prohibiting legal action against women seeking an abortion, and those who aid them, was signed into law Thursday by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat. The law comes after a Texas law that took effect last year allowed citizens to pursue legal action against anyone who provides an illegal abortion, or aids a woman seeking an abortion, after fetal heartbeat detection.

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Pro-abortion Inslee said in remarks during the bill signing that abortion is a choice women have “enjoyed” for years.

“We know this bill is necessary because this is a perilous time for the ability of people to have the freedom of choice that they have enjoyed for decades,” he stated.

This move comes after lawmakers in Washington's neighboring state, Idaho, passed a six-week abortion ban similar to Texas,’ as Townhall covered. The legislation, passed by the state House and state Senate, is headed to Republican Gov. Brad Little’s desk.

The Idaho bill prohibits abortions after fetal heartbeat detection and enforces the ban by allowing private citizens to bring lawsuits against those who provide illegal abortions. 

report by Fox News details that the bill also allows those who would have been the father, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles of an aborted unborn baby to sue an abortion provider for a minimum of $20,000 in damages within four years of the abortion.

During the law signing in Washington state, Inslee told Idahoans they can travel to his state to obtain an abortion. 

“To the citizens of Idaho, if Idaho will not stand up for your constitutional rights, we will,” Inslee said as he signed the bill.

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Late last year, shortly after Texas’ six-week abortion bantook effect, South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Republican, said in an interview with Fox News that her office had been in contact with lawmakers in Texas who created the legislation and wanted to recreate it for South Dakota. She reiterated this objective in her State of the State address this year.

Other states with Republican leadership, such as Mississippi, FloridaArizona, and West Virginia have created legislation to implement 15-week abortion bans, which is mainstream in most European countries. Currently, Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban is being challenged at the Supreme Court. A decision is expected this summer.

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