Washington State could see a 385% increase in patients seeking out-of-state care if Roe is overturned
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on Idaho adopting a copy-cat abortion ban modeled after Texas’ SB-8, which bans abortion after six weeks and allows family members to sue the abortion provider for a cash prize for helping a patient get an abortion. Unless a court intervenes, the law will go into effect in 30 days.
“Over six months ago, it was Texans who lost their constitutional right to abortion. Today, it’s Idahoans who are losing that right. Soon, it could be Oklahomans. And extreme Republicans across the country have no intention of stopping there.
“Abortion bans are cruel, they’re dangerous, and their impacts don’t end at state lines. Abortion bans anywhere are a threat to fundamental rights everywhere, and it’s providers and patients in nearby states—like my home state of Washington—who will also have to bear the brunt of the health care crises they inevitably create.
“Republicans won’t back down from their non-stop efforts to undermine patients’ rights to make their own choices about their own bodies—so I won’t back down either. I will never stop fighting to protect the right to abortion.”
Earlier this year, at a roundtable in honor of the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, abortion providers in Washington state made clear how abortion restrictions in Idaho have already had, and will continue to have, huge impacts on patients and health centers. At the event, Dr. Denise Bayuszik, Chief Medical Officer at Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho, noted that, “For us, in Spokane and across our affiliate, if the Supreme Court overturns Roe versus Wade, we anticipate the number of out-of-state patients to dramatically increase. Right now, 43% of abortion appointments at our Spokane Valley clinic are for Idaho patients.” According the Guttmacher Institute, Washington state could see a 385% increase in patients from those out-of-state seeking care, if Roe is overturned through the U.S. Supreme Court consideration of Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban.