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Washington state police will not comply with out-of-state agency requests for abortion-related information, governor says

By Hannah Sarisohn, CNN

Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee issued a directive Thursday that bars state police from cooperating with out-of-state investigatory requests related to abortion in his efforts to make the state a “sanctuary” for those seeking the services.

The decision comes after the US Supreme Court ruled last week to strike down Roe v Wade, the 1973 legal precedent which guaranteed people’s federal constitutional right to abortion. The historic ruling essentially leaves abortion laws in states’ hands.

Following the ruling, Washington — among other mostly Democratic-leaning states — moved to implement regulations that either further protect or expand abortion-related laws and policies.

“Washington is and will remain a sanctuary for any person seeking abortion care and services in our state, but we must act to protect our rights and our values,” the directive Inslee issued read.

“To that end, it is critical that our law enforcement agencies not cooperate in any manner with any out-of-state investigation, prosecution, or other legal action based on another state’s law that is inconsistent with Washington’s protections of the right to choose abortion and provide abortion-related care.”

Under the directive, the Washington State Patrol will establish processes with the Office of Attorney General and the Office of General Counsel to scrutinize any request for cooperation. All requests must be documented and reported, according to the directive.

Washington has also partnered with California and Oregon to protect those seeking abortion services as well as implement policies to address existing gaps in those protections, the governor’s directive indicates.

“This directive is one step that makes good on that commitment,” the document read.

A day after the high court’s landmark ruling, Inslee promised a $1 million down payment to start subsidizing reproductive healthcare networks across the state ahead of the anticipated influx of patients.

Inslee also called for legislation that would codify the right to abortion into state law as an amendment to the state’s constitution.

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