HOUSE RESOLUTION NO. 97-4609, by Representatives Veloria, Keiser, Cole, Cody, Wolfe, Hatfield, Dunshee and Lantz


     WHEREAS, The rights of women to equality and privacy are protected by the Constitution and laws of the state of Washington and the United States; and

     WHEREAS, Legal abortion is an essential medical service and key component of women's health care; and

     WHEREAS, Thousands of women died or were seriously injured each year from the effects of illegal or self-induced abortion before its legalization; and

     WHEREAS, The United States Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, legalized abortion on January 22, 1973, and recognized safe abortion as critical to the lives, rights, and health of women; and

     WHEREAS, Violence against providers and restrictions against abortion endangers the lives of women and men and has continued to erode access to abortion; and

     WHEREAS, Safe, legal, and accessible abortion services are still under attack, especially for women with late-term pregnancies, women of color, women who speak English as a second language or do not speak English at all, poor women, rural women, and minor women; and

     WHEREAS, Physicians who perform abortions must be able to choose the safest and most appropriate procedure for a particular woman's health and length of pregnancy without governmental intrusion into a medical decision; and

     WHEREAS, Minor women should always be encouraged to include their parents in any decision-making process regarding pregnancy, childbirth, and abortion, but as family communication cannot be legislated, minor women should not be forced by the state to do so; and

     WHEREAS, The anti-choice forces are attempting to restrict women's rights to privacy, equality, and liberty by seeking to ban certain late-term abortions, as well as by denying the right to safe abortion for minor women; and

     WHEREAS, Safe and legal abortion is critical for women of Washington state to be full and equal participants in our society; and

     WHEREAS, The constitutional right to abortion as embodied in Roe v. Wade recognizes women's rights to exercise reproductive choice, saves women's lives, and strengthens families; and

     WHEREAS, Whether and when to continue a pregnancy must remain a matter of personal and private choice for all women regardless of residence, age, race, religion, or income; and

     WHEREAS, The unique significance of the 24th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in the lives of all of the women of Washington state cannot be overestimated;

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Washington State House of Representatives declare January 22nd to be "Roe v. Wade in Washington State" Day.