Do not cooperate with abortion-related investigations, Inslee tells law enforcement

Sarah A. Miller/smiller@idahostatesman.com
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Gov. Jay Inslee told Washington state law enforcement officials on Thursday not to cooperate with abortion-related investigations.

“Washington is and will remain a sanctuary for any person seeking abortion care and services in our state, but we must act to protect our rights and our values,” Inslee said. “To that end, it is critical that our law enforcement agencies not cooperate in any manner with any out-of-state investigation, prosecution, or other legal action based on another state’s law that is inconsistent with Washington’s protections of the right to choose abortion and provide abortion-related care.”

The governor’s order instructs Washington State Patrol not to cooperate or assist with other law enforcement agencies and public or private entities if the matter is related to abortion conduct or other reproductive services. Additionally, he directed WSP to not cooperate with out-of-state subpoenas, warrants and court orders.

Additionally, WSP was instructed to scrutinize requests with the help of the Office of the Attorney General and the governor’s Office of General Counsel.

“We have jointly committed with California and Oregon to protect and serve those who enter our borders seeking lawful abortion services, and to adopt policies that expand those protections to address any existing gaps,” Inslee also noted. “This directive is one step that makes good on that commitment.”

The Washington legislature passed HB 1851 during this year’s session to prevent local and state law enforcement from prosecuting or taking adverse action against people seeking abortion services, and to protect those helping others get abortion services.

The directive comes after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade June 24. The reversal immediately made abortion services illegal in states such as Missouri, Oklahoma and Arkansas.