Due to previously arranged travel, I could not attend tonight’s legislative session. I fully support Resolution 022-0070 regarding abortion access. We know that Idaho will be restricting abortion access within the coming days, leading to more confusion and fear for women and families. This resolution makes it clear that abortion is and continues to be legal in Spokane. I am proud that Council has stepped up to do the right thing. 

This resolution also establishes that City policy is that city staff, resources, and law enforcement should not assist with any investigatory requests related to abortion that come from agencies in other states. This is not a what-if scenario. It is a reality individuals face today. 

Unfortunately, the mayor is the only person who can direct police and city staff to not assist other states in their investigations. So far, the mayor has failed to do so.  I am calling on the mayor today to make a statement one way or another. Spokanites deserve to know whether or not our tax dollars will fund out-of-state investigations to prosecute women and providers for abortion services.

Instead of stepping up to meet this moment, the mayor has delayed and obfuscated. She claims to not make statements on issues that are not “city issues.” The is false on multiple levels. 

First, abortion access is a city issue. It’s our tax dollars in question. We are expected to see a nearly 400% increase in abortion services in Spokane as cities in our region restrict women’s reproductive options. 

Second, the mayor is clearly comfortable commenting on issues beyond the city’s scope. Just a few months ago, she issued a City proclamation supporting the people of Ukraine. Why is the mayor refusing to speak about abortion access? The mayor rightly supports the freedoms of the people of Ukraine, but she does not say whether she supports the rights of people here in Spokane. 

The mayor is either out of touch with Spokanites, or the mayor is afraid to stand up to her political base. Either way, we can only assume that the police will cooperate with out-of-state investigations to prosecute women and pregnant individuals for attaining reproductive health care.

Lastly, while our mayor stays silent, mayors across the country, including in Idaho, Washington, and rural Oregon have issued statements supporting abortion access and directing police to not cooperate with investigations. Spokane residents deserve to know the mayor’s position, and whether or not our tax-dollars will be used to prosecute women for getting abortions.

 Abortion access is and will continue to be a right to people in Spokane and Washington State.