Sen. Mike Padden, R-Spokane Valley, released the following statement in response to oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court Wednesday in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The challenge to a Mississippi law restricting abortion after the 15th week of pregnancy could allow the Supreme Court to overturn previous decisions regarding abortion, and return decision-making to the states. Padden, an advocate of pro-life legislation, was sponsor of a pro life bill that won passage in the Washington Legislature in 1981, a law guaranteeing medical treatment to an infant born alive during the course of an abortion.
“The oral arguments today before the U.S. Supreme Court reflect a growing recognition of the humanity of the unborn child. We know so much more today than we did in 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided. We know now that the unborn child can feel pain at a point much earlier than previously believed, and the advance of medical technology has changed the point at which survival is possible outside the womb.
“I have always believed the Roe and Casey decisions were wrongly decided, and the advance of technology and scientific knowledge offer a compelling reason for the U.S. Supreme Court to revisit these decisions.
“The most striking impression one might gain from today’s oral arguments is that the political invective that surrounds this issue is misplaced. The questions from the justices made clear they have a full understanding of the legal and moral issues at stake. The court is balancing a fundamental issue of human rights against the legal right Roe found hidden in the shadows of the Constitution. I would hope that all who are interested in the outcome would respect the process, refrain from political invective, and give our system the respect it deserves.”