Seattle City Council passes abortion protection and gender-affirming care legislation

The Seattle City Council passed two pieces of legislation Tuesday, aiming to protect abortions and gender-affirming care in the city.

The first bill is an ordinance that would add people who are seeking or who have received abortions as a protected class, ensuring civil rights protections.

The second bill creates a misdemeanor charge for people who infringe on people seeking abortions or gender-affirming care.

Both bills were sponsored by councilmembers Tammy J. Morales, Lisa Herbold and Dan Strauss.

Morales will also be introducing additional legislation on Aug. 12 that would regulate pregnancy crisis centers, which are, according to a media release from the City Council, organizations that mislead pregnant people and persuade them against having abortions.

“Every level of government has a vital role to play to ensure body autonomy and self-determination,” says councilmember Morales. “While this is a tremendous first step today to protect those folks obtaining a safe medical procedure in our city, we are living in real time the ongoing impacts to the Supreme Court’s decision. We must be bold, courageous, and stand for our values during this pivotal time in our history.”

The two bills will go to Mayor Harrell for his signature. If signed, they will go into effect 30 days afterward.