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caption: A crowd is gathered during a pro-choice rally and press conference on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at Kerry Park in Seattle.
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A crowd is gathered during a pro-choice rally and press conference on Tuesday, May 3, 2022, at Kerry Park in Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Washington reacts to Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade leak: Today So Far

On Monday evening, the U.S. Supreme Court's draft opinion on Roe v. Wade was leaked. On Tuesday, Washington reacted and spoke up.

This post originally appeared in KUOW's Today So Far newsletter for May 4, 2022.

The opinion is just a draft and is meant to be confidential as the court debates the issue. But it indicates that, after 50 years of precedent, the Supreme Court intends to overturn the landmark 1973 decision. Chief Justice John Roberts has called the leak a "betrayal." And others are pointing to some not-so-straightforward behavior on the part of the justices themselves.

As Seattleites rallied at Kerry Park, Gov. Jay Inslee said that "we are going to fight like hell to keep Washington a pro-choice state."

Rep. Pramila Jayapal, who represents the Seattle area, said that "if this opinion comes to pass, it will be the most horrific and unprecedented rollback of women’s rights in our history. It’s a radical, outrageous, and deeply dangerous opinion.”

Jayapal further argued that “there is a straight line from upending abortion rights to getting rid of access to contraception, to banning gay marriage.”

While speaking with KUOW, Sen. Patty Murray said she has been concerned about such a decision for a long time.

"It was a gut punch," Murray said. "It was my country, for the first time since I was in college many years ago, taking away the rights of women to make their own health-care choices. All I could think of was, 'Oh my gosh, for the first time ever, we are going to see mothers have more rights than their daughters in the United States of America.' We cannot let this stand."

Murray also said that she expects women from other states which ban abortions will flood into Washington and put stress on the local health care system.

State Senate Republican leader John Braun released a statement saying that not much will change in Washington as a result of the Supreme Court's action, but also, "Whatever the law, whatever your politics, fewer abortions should be a common goal.”

And on the eastside of the state, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers leaned heavy into the culture war saying, "We must protect life from the Democrats’ extreme abortion agenda," and "Democrats and the Left are using this breach of trust as an opportunity to spread fear and force their discriminatory pro-abortion agenda on every American."

Supporters of women's and abortion rights who gathered in Seattle saw things differently. Some feel the decision will return the United States to a dangerous era before Roe v. Wade, when the government had greater control over a doctor's relationship with patients. It was a time when women, who could afford to, traveled to places (sometimes out of the country) to terminate a pregnancy. And those who could not afford that level of care risked the dangers of an underground abortion market.

At Kerry Park, Kathleen held up a sign she originally made for the Women's March in 2017.

“It says, 'Save Roe v Wade.' It has the coat hanger with the prohibited symbol through it because we don't wanna go back to that.”

University of Washington student Sydney Lyman also attended the rally in Seattle.

“Wasn't really even a question. This is what I believe in and being in a community with other people who believe in the same thing as me and we're all working towards something is really powerful, I think.”

AS SEEN ON KUOW

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If it seems like you’ve started sneezing sooner than usual, or been extra sensitive, you may not be imagining things: a study from the University of Michigan suggests warmer temperatures due to climate change are stretching pollen season, and making seasonal allergies worse. (Unsplash)

DID YOU KNOW?

It is May 4, as in May the Fourth Be With You — the annual celebration of the "Star Wars" phenomenon. Did you know the emperor is coming to town?

By "town" I mean Puyallup. Among the guests coming to the Washington State Summer Con at the fairgrounds in June is Ian McDiarmid, the Shakspearian actor who you probably know better as the evil Emperor Palpatine. You know, the guy who turned Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader and tempted Luke to the dark side. McDiarmid has appeared in seven "Star Wars" films going back to the originals in the 1980s (and yes, I'm including the prequels we don't talk about). In his honor, the convention has begun construction of a replica of the emperor's throne room from the films. It's even called in a professional "Star Wars" prop builder to get the job done. So while May The Fourth will be over tomorrow, a big piece of "Star Wars" is slated to visit Washington next month.

ALSO ON OUR MINDS

caption: FILE: In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington DC, at sunset.
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FILE: In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington DC, at sunset.
Credit: AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File

What even is a draft opinion? Here's how the Supreme Court's process works

"Justices circulate draft opinions internally as a routine and essential part of the Court's confidential deliberative work. Although the document described in yesterday's reports is authentic, it does not represent a decision by the Court or the final position of any member on the issues in the case."

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