The Current Law
on Abortion in WA State is Initiative 120
120 (Reproductive Privacy Act) was passed by a vote of the people in November
1991 and was subsequently adopted into the Revised Code of Washington, sections
The purpose of I-120
was to place the standards of the Supreme Court decision, Roe vs Wade, into state
law, so that if Roe vs Wade was overturned, women in Washington would continue
to have the same rights and protections.
essence of the Reproductive Privacy Act is section RCW 9.02.110 below which states,
"The state may not deny or interfere with a woman's right to choose
to have an abortion prior to viability of the fetus, or to protect her life or
9.02.100 Reproductive privacy--Public policy.
sovereign people hereby declare that every individual possesses a fundamental
right of privacy with respect to personal reproductive decisions.
it is the public policy of the state of Washington that:
individual has the fundamental right to choose or refuse birth control;
Every woman has the fundamental right to choose or refuse to have
an abortion, except as specifically limited by this act
as specifically permitted by this act, the state shall not deny or interfere with
a woman's fundamental right to choose or refuse to have an abortion; and
The state shall not discriminate against the exercise of these
rights in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.
9.02.110 Right to have and provide.
The state may not deny
or interfere with a woman's right to choose to have an abortion prior to viability
of the fetus, or to protect her life or health. A physician may terminate and
a health care provider may assist a physician in terminating a pregnancy as permitted
by this section.
RCW 9.02.120 Unauthorized abortions--Penalty.
Unless authorized by RCW 9.02.110, any person who performs
an abortion on another person shall be guilty of a class C felony punishable under
chapter 9A.20 RCW.
RCW 9.02.130 Defenses to prosecution.
good faith judgment of a physician as to viability of the fetus or as to the risk
to life or health of a woman and the good faith judgment of a health care provider
as to the duration of pregnancy shall be a defense in any proceeding in which
a violation of this chapter is an issue.
RCW 9.02.140 State
Any regulation promulgated by the state relating
to abortion shall be valid only if:
is medically necessary to protect the life or health of the woman terminating
The regulation is consistent with
established medical practice, and
Of the available
alternatives, the regulation imposes the least restrictions on the woman's right
to have an abortion as defined by this act.
9.02.150 Refusing to perform.
No person or private medical
facility may be required by law or contract in any circumstances to participate
in the performance of an abortion if such person or private medical facility objects
to so doing. No person may be discriminated against in employment or professional
privileges because of the person's participation or refusal to participate in
the termination of a pregnancy.
RCW 9.02.160 State-provided
If the state provides,directly or by contract, maternity
care benefits, services, or information to women through any program administered
or funded in whole or in part by the state, the state shall also provide women
otherwise eligible for any such program with substantially equivalent benefits,
services, or information to permit them to voluntarily terminate their pregnancies.
For purposes of this chapter:
"Viability" means the point in the pregnancy when,
in the judgment of the physician on the particular facts of the case before such
physician, there is a reasonable likelihood of the fetus's sustained survival
outside the uterus without the application of extraordinary medical measures.
"Abortion" means any medical treatment intended to induce
the termination of a pregnancy except for the purpose of producing a live birth.
"Pregnancy" means the reproductive process beginning
with the implantation of an embryo.
means a physician licensed to practice under chapter 18.57 or 18.71 RCW in the
state of Washington.
"Health care provider"
means a physician or a person acting under the general direction of a physician.
"State" means the state of Washington and counties,cities,
towns, municipal corporations, and quasi-municipal corporations in the state of
"Private medical facility"
means any medical facility that is not owned or operated by the state.
This act shall not be construed to define
the state's interest in the fetus for any purpose other than the specific provisions
of this act.
RCW 9.02.901 Severability
any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is
held invalid, the remainder of this act or the application of the provision to
other persons or circumstances is not affected.
This act shall be known and may be cited as the
Reproductive Privacy Act.
It is a crime to interfere with health care facilities or providers in Washington State - see RCW Chapter 9A.50 (Revised Code of Washington)
to State of Washington website and the complete RCW
see also federal law known as Roe v Wade
Feminist Women's Health Center