To prevent the spread of other states' draconian abortion rules across borders, Washington joined a growing list of states that have implemented such legislation.
In other developments, on Thursday, Governor Jay Inslee signed a measure into law that would restrict law enforcement and courts in Washington from assisting other states' investigations into abortion.
According to his administration, this might insulate both abortion providers from prosecution under other states' laws and patients who go to Washington state for an abortion from prosecution back home.
For what it's worth, Oriana Gonzalez of Axios writes that since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, 19 states have taken action to prohibit or limit abortion. Several blue states, Washington included, have responded by attempting to restrict the scope of these statutes because of this.
Global context: The Center for Reproductive Rights, which keeps tabs on such measures, reports that 12 states now have abortion shield laws after Thursday's signing by Minnesota's governor.
The new legislation guarantees "freedom from intrusion by any politician or any government in the most intimate, private decision by a woman," Inslee declared just before signing the bill into law.
It's important to highlight that the new legislation prevents Washington state law enforcement and courts from helping with investigations into efforts by other jurisdictions to limit access to transgender-affirming health care.
In a floor address on April 10, state senator Mike Padden (R-Spokane Valley) opposed the bill, arguing that it would "promote abortion tourism" and that it goes too far in seeking to overturn the rules of neighboring jurisdictions.
Others in the legislature were concerned that law enforcement agencies wouldn't share information with Washington authorities if the state didn't help with investigations happening in other states.
Washington state lawmakers are aiming to ensure that abortion providers in blue states are shielded from prosecution while treating patients from other states.
What's going on: Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and U.S. Representative Kim Schrier (D-Sammamish) introduced legislation to protect physicians who perform abortions in places where such procedures are permitted from prosecution under more stringent abortion laws enacted in those jurisdictions.
Since Roe v. Wade was overturned, roughly a quarter of U.S. states have outright banned or severely limited access to abortion. But in other places, lawmakers are taking action to protect patients and doctors' access to the procedure and to make it easier for them to work with patients and doctors in other states.
The 105-day session of the Washington State Legislature ended on Sunday. During that time, new gun control laws, revisions to housing policy, and protections for women's access to abortion were passed.
A new two-year budget of $69.3 billion was also adopted by the Democratic-controlled Legislature to fund public schools, prisons, and other state services.