Why State Elections Matter More Than Ever

The other day I read a “tweet” that resonated very strongly with me. It said: “Roe vs. Wade is not about abortion. It’s about women’s fundamental human right to control their own bodies. There’s no way to give personhood rights to a fetus without stripping those same rights from the woman—essentially turning her into a walking incubator” (Eugene Gu, MD).

As we’re probably all already aware, if Brett Kavanaugh is appointed to the Supreme Court, the overturning of Roe v. Wade becomes very possible. According to NPR, if this were to happen, it is possible that abortion might become illegal in up to 22 states. This is because, in the absence of federal law, the question over a woman’s autonomy over her own body is left up to the states.

Thankfully, Washington is not one of those 22 states. In 1991, voters in Washington passed Initiative 120, the Reproductive Privacy Act, which establishes the same protections as Roe v. Wade in the event that the supreme court decision is ever reversed.

While we can all breathe a small sigh of relief over this fact, we must also let it serve as a reminder:

  • a reminder that we must never stop fighting for our fundamental human rights, which remain under constant threat, and
  • a reminder of the importance of state protections and state elections as a safeguard against a corrupt federal administration.

As a matter of fact, with very narrow Democratic majorities in our state government, our reproductive and other human rights are far from invulnerable. To understand how Republicans in Washington State are attempting to chip away at these fundamental rights even today, we need look no further than our own 31st LD: NARAL lists four anti-choice Washington State bills that they are currently fighting, including one sponsored by the 31st’s current Senator, Phil Fortunato. That bill, SB 6071, would require increased signage for “abortion facilities.” As summarized by NARAL, “Increased signage will not increase patient access, but only serves to target and harass patients and staff.”

As it happens, we have endorsed an experienced, progressive candidate to replace Fortunato: Immaculate Ferreria. She, along with other Democrats in our state, will be the last line of defense in our uncertain, but (if the past year and a half is any indication) certainly terrible, future.

This fight is not just about politics. It’s not just about “winning.” The 2018 elections have the potential to negatively impact each of our lives in very real, previously-unimaginable ways. Please talk to your friends, spread the word, and vote!

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