HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 4025
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 1st Special Session
By Representatives Belcher, Cole, Miller, R. Fisher, Locke, Prince, Wang, Wynne, Fraser, Brough, Rayburn, Dellwo, Valle, May, Jones, Anderson, Sheldon, Inslee, Prentice, Spanel, Orr, McLean, Wilson, Bray, Mitchell, Jacobsen, Franklin, Appelwick, H. Myers, R. King, Ferguson, Riley, Morris, Roland, G. Fisher, R. Johnson, Ogden, Pruitt, Ludwig, Edmondson, Schmidt, Neher, Winsley, Brekke, Leonard, Heavey, Nelson and Wineberry.
Read first time 6/28/91.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, Family planning programs play a vital role in assuring low-income women's access to reproductive health services; and
WHEREAS, Federal Title X family planning funds provide 2.5 million dollars annually in Washington, financial assistance critical to the ability of over sixty clinics and mobile family planning facilities state-wide to provide reproductive health services to low-income women; and
WHEREAS, Washington law on informed consent requires physicians to advise their patients of the risks, benefits, and alternatives related to any medical procedure, and any limits on the ability of a physician to obtain informed consent expose physicians to significant civil liability; and
WHEREAS, Physicians have a professional and ethical obligation to inform their patients of all treatment alternatives, and any limits on this obligation jeopardize the physician-patient relationship; and
WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court ruling of May 23, 1991, in Rust v. Sullivan, upholds regulations adopted by the federal Department of Health and Human Services that prohibit family planning programs that receive Title X funds from providing nondirective pregnancy counseling or abortion referral to women; and
WHEREAS, The federal Title X regulations upheld by the United States Supreme Court wrongly control information that an individual can receive, where exercise of fundamental constitutional rights is at issue; and
WHEREAS, As a result of the Rust v. Sullivan ruling, family planning providers in the State of Washington may be forced to turn down Title X funding, and thereby reduce the availability of essential family planning services to low-income women, in order to provide information necessary to obtain informed consent and exercise their right to freedom of speech;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Legislature of the State of Washington express its deep concern regarding the impact on the exercise of fundamental constitutional rights of the United States Supreme Court ruling in Rust v. Sullivan; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Legislature of the State of Washington strongly urge that the United States Congress enact federal legislation expressing clear Congressional intent that Title X funding be used to provide unbiased and accurate information on reproductive health care for low-income women, and that the President of the United States sign the legislation into law; and
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George Bush, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.