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Senator Murray Statement on Idaho’s Copy-Cat Abortion Ban

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 the Idaho Senate and House passing 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 the supposed “crime” of helping a patient get an abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court has already rubber-stamped Texas’ cruel law, which has now been in effect for over 6 months.


“These abortion bans are cruel, they are wrong, and let me be really clear about one thing: they are a threat to Americans’ fundamental rights not just in states where they are enacted, but all across the country. In my home state of Washington, providers have made clear an abortion ban in Idaho will make it harder for patients in our state to get abortions, as patients are forced to cross state lines just to exercise their constitutional rights.


I have been proud to lead the fight in the Senate to protect the constitutional right to abortion and stop these bans, and I will not stop fighting until we finally protect abortion rights—and ensure everyone can has the fundamental right to make their own choices about their body, their lives, and their future.”


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 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 16-week abortion ban.