King County District Attorney is committed to protecting reproductive freedom

King County District Attorney is committed to protecting reproductive freedom

Dan Satterberg joins more than 80 prosecutors from around the country in his pledge.

Following the US Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg joined 83 elected prosecutors across the country in pledging to use their discretion and refuse to prosecute those who seek or assist in abortion.

Satterberg called the Supreme Court’s recent decision “an affront to 50 years of established case law” and a “fundamental attack” on access to reproductive health care.

“While Washington State has strong protections for abortion rights independent of the United States Constitution, there will be continued efforts not only to weaken those laws, but also to potentially punish health care providers in the state. ‘state of Washington serving clients from states where abortion services are now illegal.” Satterberg said.

Satterberg also stated that the court’s decision pointed to a potential future path where other critical privacy interests such as same-sex marriage, contraception and sexual privacy are potentially at risk.

“As King County Prosecutor, I want to assure the people of King County that my commitment to the issue of reproductive rights is unwavering: I have never used my discretion to criminalize personal medical decisions,” Satterberg said in a statement “As a private and concerned citizen, I will also continue to support other organizations that fight for human dignity and fundamental privacy from government overreach in our lives.”

Now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned, the collection of prosecutors expects abortion to be banned in at least 26 states. A recent law in Oklahoma makes it a crime to have an abortion, punishable by up to 10 years in prison, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Bans in Missouri, Tennessee and Utah carry sentences of up to 15 years for abortion care providers.

The prosecutors’ statement also underscores how abortion bans disproportionately harm victims of sexual abuse, rape, incest, human trafficking and domestic violence, and that many anti-abortion laws do not provide exceptions for victims of sexual violence or force survivors to choose between reporting their assault or carrying out an unwanted pregnancy.

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Jennifer Ahdout

Jennifer Ahdout

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