Inslee issues directive for WSP to refuse cooperation with abortion-related investigations

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Gov. Jay Inslee issued a directive Thursday for Washington State Patrol to refuse any cooperation with any investigation requests related to abortions coming from states that either don’t allow or constrain access to abortion.

Over the weekend, Inslee has promised to fight to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

“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 wrote in his directive. “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 reversal of Roe v. Wade has set off a curtailment of abortion care for people in half the nation, according to a release from the governor’s office.

Inslee said he is working to look at other steps to add more protections for patients from investigative activities “initiated by agencies and vigilantes in anti-choice states.”

Any subpoenas, search warrants or court orders from anti-abortion states or states restricting abortion access should be declined by WSP, according to the order from the governor. However, WSP is being asked to review and process such requests in partnership with the attorney general’s office and governor’s general counsel.

With respect to reproductive privacy in Washington, state law prohibits anyone from penalizing, prosecuting or taking any negative action against anyone who wishes to exercise their reproductive rights.

Inslee has asked state legislators to pass a constitutional amendment in order to “protect women in our state.”

The governor also approved $1 million to help reproductive care clinics, as an increased number or patients are expected to seek care in Washington state.