Olympia council asking city staff to find ways city can support abortion rights


The Olympia City Council has directed its Community Livability and Public Safety to do research and develop a resolution that would support and protect a woman's right to abortions. 

In the city council meeting held Tuesday, June 14, Councilmembers Lisa Parshley, Dontae Payne and Yen Huynh also made a referral request to the city council staffto research what a Washington city can enact regarding:

  • financial assistance to reproductive rights and choice providers to assist lower-income/marginalized community members
  • balancing first amendment rights and the right to access medical care and reproductive care
  • conduct outreach to local reproductive health and choice providers to learn how the city can help or partner with them to best support their services
  • actions other cities are taking across the country to support and protect choice and reproductive rights

Parshley said they made the referral request in light of the Supreme Court's looming decision, which many suspect would overturn the 49-year-old Roe v. Wade ruling.

In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the Roe v. Wade case that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman's right to choose an abortion.

"If they overturn Roe v. Wade [decision], they threaten many of our rights and liberties. As the law guarantees a woman's right to choose, also guarantees reproductive freedoms, LGBTQ+s rights, privacy and many racial justice laws. All of these rights become vulnerable,” Parshley said.

She said the most impacted would be women of color, women of lower income and the marginalized communities if the decision is overturned.

In a referral request, the council members emphasized their beliefs that reversal of the decision would strain health care clinics that provide abortion services. They claimed it would also threaten the public safety of all involved in the abortion process; exacerbate the number of unwanted pregnancies coming to term; and increase economic hardships for some women, children, and families.

The city council also recommended that the committee, chaired by Payne, to consider working on topics such as public safety for those seeking reproductive services and for advocates and service providers; strengthen strategies to prevent violence against women; laws and ordinances on what might constitute intimidation or a hate crime related to reproductive health and choice; and consult with the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, County Public Health Department, and Community Youth Services on what actions they are considering related to the loss of the right of Woman's choice and reproductive rights.

There was no formal voting on the referral request. But Mayor Pro Tem Clark Gilman noted during the meeting that all council members present – Parshley, Huynh, Payne and Dani Madrone – were in agreement to forward the request to the city staff and to the committee.


12 comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here

  • JulesJames

    Nonsense. ******** laws in Washington State are not threatened by the possible repeal of Roe v Wade. This "referral" is pure political pandering taking staff time away from matters that matter in Olympia.

    Monday, June 20 Report this

  • AugieH

    Why doesn't the Olympia City Council just give Gov. Inslee a call and ask what the State of Washington will do when and if the SCOTUS overturns Roe v. Wade, i.e. throws the question back into the jurisdictions of the states? I think Jay has been very clear that the right to an ******** in WA will not be abridged by such a decision. The issue is above the City Council's pay grade.

    Tuesday, June 21 Report this

  • AugieH

    Why in the Comments is the word "aborshun" or *************** rendered as "********" but not in the original article. What sort of silliness by JOLT is this?

    We'll see how my attempts above to render the word fare when this comment is posted.

    Tuesday, June 21 Report this

  • AugieH

    My question posed above has been answered. You can't cure stupid.

    Tuesday, June 21 Report this

  • DStusser

    The JOLT did not substitute * asterisks for the word ********.

    Tuesday, June 21 Report this

  • TiaPino

    Only in a pre-Handmaid’s Tale world would we not be able to use the word “********.”

    Tuesday, June 21 Report this

  • TiaPino

    If JOLT didn’t replace the word “********” with asterisks, who did? Someone did.


    Tuesday, June 21 Report this

  • AugieH

    To be clear ...

    My first rendering of the forbidden word in my second comment above made it through the censoring process. The second, which was each letter of the word (properly spelled) separated by a period, did not.

    So, let's see:

    uhborshun, aboarshun, uhboarshun, uhbortion, aboartion

    Tuesday, June 21 Report this

  • Miller19

    This is disgusting. He city should not spend a dime on this. It’s not a right.

    Tuesday, June 21 Report this

  • burkemeister

    I agree that this is disgusting, and that they wasting tax-payer dollars on virtue signaling and on social justice incentives instead of issues that matter. It is not their job! The City Council knows that overturning Roe would only put the ******** issue back to the States where it is already protected (unfortunately) in Washington. If not, than they are not bothered to read the law. But these are the city officials that we elect, aren't they?

    Tuesday, June 21 Report this



    Tuesday, June 21 Report this

  • Cobbnaustic

    The Olympia City council is just virtue signaling. The people are getting increasingly tired of this BS. If R vs W is overturned it will have no effect in WA. it just becomes a states right. These people need to bee removed from their positions because they are causing more harm than good.

    Wednesday, June 22 Report this