Abortion is a County Issue

By Erica C. Barnett July 27, 2009

[caption id="attachment_10468" align="alignleft" width="217" caption="Susan Hutchison"]Susan Hutchison[/caption]
Susan Hutchison, a Republican candidate for the technically nonpartisan position of King County Executive, has said repeatedly that she does not need to reveal her views on abortion because the county doesn't deal with abortion For example, Hutchison refused to fill out a candidate questionnaire from NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, responding only that "The issues surrounding abortion are not relevant to the King County Executive race."

This morning, the King County Council will take a vote that proves that claim patently false—providing funding for the county's nine family planning clinics through the end of this year. (The council had placed the clinics, along with other health and human services programs, in a "lifeboat" that provided funding only through this month.) The legislation, sponsored by Democrats Larry Gossett, Dow Constantine, Julia Patterson, and Larry Phillips, would give the clinics $1.2 million in additional funding. Sources at the council say they expect it to pass unanimously, including "yes" votes by the council's four Republicans.

Although Hutchison might argue that family planning clinics have nothing to do with the "abortion issue," that's not true either. According to the county, all but one of its public health clinics offers services including birth control, pregnancy testing, STD testing and treatment, and abortion information and referrals. In 2007, the clinics providing family planning services to 17,200 people.

Hutchison's spokesman hasn't yet responded to a request for comment.
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