On December 8, 1969, a group known as Washington Citizens for Abortion Reform announces that it will campaign for a referendum to liberalize the state’s abortion law.
The move was a response to the defeat of two abortion bills in the regular session of the Legislature. The group said it would propose a referendum during the special session of the Legislature beginning in January 1970, hoping “faint-hearted legislators” would be willing to submit the issue directly to the people.
On February 4, after adding a number of restrictions to the bill favored by the reformers, the Legislature agreed to put Referendum 20 on the ballot for ratification by the voters in November 1970.
Walt Crowley, Rites of Passage: A Memoir of the Sixties in Seattle (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1995), 278; The Seattle Times, December 1, 1969; Journal of the Senate, January 30, 1970, pp. 233-234; Journal of the House, February 4, 1970, p. 301.
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