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caption: Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson looks on during a news conference in Seattle on Dec. 17, 2019.
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Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson looks on during a news conference in Seattle on Dec. 17, 2019.

Washington AG weighs in on abortion rights, concealed carry, and Hanford

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With Special Guests

Earlier this month, Politico obtained a leaked draft decision from the US Supreme Court that suggested Roe v Wade, the federal ruling protecting abortion rights, would be overturned.

While that decision hasn't been finalized, states across the country are readying policies that would alter access to abortion, should the ruling be struck down. Washington could become one of the few "safe states" for abortion access.

Other hot-button legal issues include questions about the New York state concealed carry case, and how it might affect other states, as well as the workers' compensation case at the Hanford nuclear site.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson joined Soundside to talk about all of it.

Ferguson started by addressing the anticipated Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe.

"It removes and reverses decades of legal precedent relied upon by millions and millions of women in this country," he said. "It is outrageous, and we will not accept it."

Ferguson confirmed that, even if the draft opinion is adopted by the Supreme Court, abortion access in Washington will not change. Moreover, his office has also written to a number of medical commission boards to make sure that any doctor who ends up with a criminal history due to practicing safe and legal abortion in another state until it is criminalized, will not have that negatively affect them should they look for work here in Washington.

The anticipated ruling could lead to more women traveling to Washington for reproductive health care.

Ferguson said his office is "intensely interested in the type of law" that would impact Washington state residents or anyone coming to Washington to have a safe and legal abortion in the state.

The Supreme Court is also poised to strike down a New York state law requiring anyone who wants to get a license to carry a concealed handgun to show a "proper cause" before they get a permit. If that happens, Ferguson said his office would analyze the opinion very carefully, to see how broadly it is written and to see whether it would impact any of the laws currently in effect here in Washington.

Finally, we're also waiting to get the decision on the case involving workers' compensation at the Hanford nuclear site, after having a law passed by the state Legislature challenged by the Trump administration. Ferguson said they were at the Supreme Court making arguments a few weeks ago, but don't expect a decision for at least a few months.