Seattle City Council passes abortion protection, gender-affirming care legislation

It will soon be illegal in Seattle to discriminate against people for seeking or receiving an abortion, part of the city’s efforts to preserve reproductive rights locally.

The Seattle City Council on Tuesday passed a measure making it illegal to discriminate against someone based on their actual or perceived pregnancy outcome, The Seattle Times reported. The council also added a statewide misdemeanor charge for interfering with health care to the city’s code, hoping to minimize interference and harassment against those seeking care in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court undoing decades of constitutional abortion protections in June.

"For the first time in our country’s history, our courts have reversed fundamental rights," Councilmember Tammy Morales, who sponsored both bills, said Tuesday. "Every level of government has a vital role to play to ensure that bodily autonomy and self determination are able to exist for our community members."

Washington Senator introduces bill to protect the right to contraception nationwide

The Right to Contraception Act would also protect healthcare providers who prescribe contraceptives and provide information about contraception.

The discrimination bill allows the city’s Office of Civil Rights to investigate alleged discrimination based on pregnancy outcomes as it would discrimination based on race, religion, sex, sexuality or other protected classes, while the interference bill allows the city to prosecute interference with any health care — including abortions and gender-affirming care which are frequently protested — as a misdemeanor.