Washington Citizens for Abortion Reform announce referendum campaign on December 8, 1969.

  • By Cassandra Tate
  • Posted 11/10/2000
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 1340

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.

Licensing: This essay is licensed under a Creative Commons license that encourages reproduction with attribution. Credit should be given to both HistoryLink.org and to the author, and sources must be included with any reproduction. Click the icon for more info. Please note that this Creative Commons license applies to text only, and not to images. For more information regarding individual photos or images, please contact the source noted in the image credit.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License
Major Support for HistoryLink.org Provided By: The State of Washington | Patsy Bullitt Collins | Paul G. Allen Family Foundation | Museum Of History & Industry | 4Culture (King County Lodging Tax Revenue) | City of Seattle | City of Bellevue | City of Tacoma | King County | The Peach Foundation | Microsoft Corporation, Other Public and Private Sponsors and Visitors Like You