OLYMPIA, Wash. -- A new bill proposed this week in the Washington Legislature would, if passed, greatly affect women's reproductive health.
House Bill 1560 aims to prohibit certain types of abortions in Washington state. Representative Brad Klippert is one of the bill's sponsors.
“That child in there, that has hands and feet and a beating heart, deserves protection too.” Klippert said. “That is a child. That is a baby”
The bill prohibits an abortion that results in the bodily dismemberment of an unborn child, except in case of medical emergency.
“They are human beings that deserve our protection,” he said.
It also prohibits abortions after 11 weeks of pregnancy. For reference--that is in the first trimester. And the person performing the abortion would be guilty of a class C felony.
“Many women do not even know they're pregnant at 11 weeks,” said Judi Johannesen, chair of the Benton County Democrats. “And I’d have to say, this is a very extreme bill.”
Benton County Democrats said they firmly oppose the government telling anyone they have to carry a pregnancy to term.
“That's not decision that the government should make for people,” Johannesen said.
If the bill is moved along, it will likely draw legal opposition.
“I'm not afraid of challenges,” Klippert said. “I feel I was elected by the citizens of the 8th legislative district to be a leader.”
Johannesen said to reduce abortion rates, Klippert should instead focus on stopping domestic violence and closing the gender pay gap.
HB 1560 will next be presented in the Health Care and Wellness Committee.