Supreme Court Vacancy Raises Importance of Reproductive Rights in State Races

With the potential for a conservative Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, it’s more important than ever to know where state candidates and legislators stand on protecting a woman’s right to choose

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 22, 2020  

SEATTLE — With a new vacancy on the Supreme Court and a Republican president and Senate that appear determined to attempt to push through a new conservative justice as soon as possible, it could be more important than ever that state governments are ready and willing to protect reproductive rights and access. Should a conservative, anti-choice judge be appointed to the court, the stage would be set for right wing legal efforts to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision, threatening access to abortion for women nationwide. In such a scenario, it would be critical that Washington have a pro-choice governor and legislature able to protect women’s access to reproductive health care. 

Here in Washington, abortion is currently legal whether or not Roe is the law of the land, but Republican legislators are seeking to change that. In the 2019-20 biennium, Republicans introduced HB 2154, which would seek to ban all abortions in Washington state, and numerous other Republican legislators and candidates have stated their opposition to abortion. 

In the gubernatorial race, GOP candidate Loren Culp hasn’t yet stated his opinion on a woman’s right to choose. While his political allies have made their opposition to abortion clear, Culp has thus far stayed silent on the issue. With choice coming to the forefront of the political debate in the 2020 elections, Culp needs to make his position clear – would he protect the reproductive rights of Washington women, or would he stand with his conservative allies in the state legislature and the Trump Administration?

“With Roe v. Wade under threat like never before, now is a time when every candidate must make their position clear,said Tina Podlodowski, chair of the Washington State Democratic Party. “We know that many socially conservative Republican legislators, from Steve O’Ban in the Senate to Vicki Kraft in the House and many more, oppose a woman’s right to choose. Do they support Trump and McConnell’s plan to jam through a far-right Supreme Court justice just days before the election? Does Loren Culp? The people of Washington expect answers.”