Target: Raquel Montoya-Lewis, Skagit County Superior Court Judge
Goal: Applaud ruling forcing public hospitals that provide maternity care to also provide abortions.
All public hospitals providing maternity care in Washington state will now be required to perform on-site abortions. While this has been the law for a while now, another law allowing doctors to refuse to perform the procedure on moral or religious grounds allowed for a loophole. One particular hospital was regularly refusing to perform abortions, arguing that it did not have a staff member on board that was willing to do so. The hospital was recently ordered to find such a staff member in order to ensure compliance with state laws.
Abortion has been under attack across the country, with attempts by some states to limit or even criminalize it. These attacks are not only an affront to women’s rights, but can force them to turn to unsafe alternatives that pose a much greater health risk. A study by the World Health Organization shows that in developed countries, over 600,000 women die every year due to complications related to unsafe terminations. The legal status of abortion has been found to have a great effect on these deaths — when South Africa legalized the procedure, the country saw a steep 90 percent drop off in abortion-related deaths.
This ruling is a huge victory for women’s rights, and will ensure that women across Washington state have access to safe abortion. At a time when women in many other states are struggling due to restrictions on the procedure, this ruling is refreshing to see. Sign the petition below to thank the court for ensuring that laws mandating safe, accessible abortions are upheld.
Dear Judge Montoya-Lewis,
A recent court ruling closed a loophole by which public hospitals in Washington state could deny abortions by not having a doctor on staff willing to perform them. The Skagit Valley Hospital was accused of repeatedly refusing to perform the procedure, despite laws mandating that all public hospitals that provide maternity care also provide abortions on site.
This ruling will not only uphold women’s rights, but prevent women from resorting to dangerous measures such as drugs and unsafe, “back-alley” surgeries. We, the undersigned, thank you for working to ensure that women across Washington state have access to safe abortions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Debra Sweet