What do you
want to know?
Details specific to Washington State
ABORTION IS LEGAL.
was made legal throughout the US in 1973 by a Supreme Court decision known as
Roe v Wade. This decision is based on a womans right to privacy
regarding medical matters including family planning. The Supreme Court allows
some restrictions on the practice of abortion. These restrictions vary from state
ABORTION IS SAFE.
1973, abortion has become the most often performed outpatient surgery. Thousands
of doctors across the country have learned to provide abortion using the safest
medical techniques. Today, abortion is about 10 times safer than giving birth.
MAKING YOUR OWN DECISION . . .
a parent is a very important decision that will affect the rest of your life.
Its essential to make your own decision. No one else has the right to tell
you what to do. Listen to your own heart.
If you - or someone you know
- is pregnant, its a good idea to talk about it with someone you trust.
Talk with a friend, parent, teacher, relative, or call a clinic. (In Washington,
it is NOT necessary to have your parent's permission.)
Once you have made
your decision, believe in yourself for making a good decision. Abortion is the right of every woman.
In Washington state, parents permission
is NOT required for a minor to obtain abortion, pregnancy tests, birth control
methods, or tests for sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS. It
is also not necessary to notify a parent before or after the procedure or test.
teens feel they cannot tell their parents, they have compelling reasons, such
as mentally ill or chemically dependent parents, family violence or incest. Laws
cannot mandate good family communications. Desperate teens seek illegal abortion
or even commit suicide rather than tell their parents. Parental consent laws are
bad medicine and bad legislation. Responsible parents open the doors of communication
themselves; they do not expect government to do it for them. Parental consent/notice
laws are a form of parents abdicating responsibility to the government to curb
the decisions teens may make.
Washington state, if you are pregnant and low income, you may qualify for "Medical Assistance" -- regardless of
your age, and regardless of whether you want to give birth or get an abortion. Contact your local DSHS, to sign up for Medical Assistance for pregnant women.
cost of an abortion depends on the stage of pregnancy and which clinic is providing
services. First trimester procedures run about $500-1000. Second trimester procedures
cost $600-10,000. Many insurance plans cover abortion. In Washington, abortion is covered by the state medical assistance. State Medicaid coverage varies from state to state.
is covered under many insurance plans. The clinic can help by verifying coverage
and other paperwork. It may not be necessary to obtain a referral from a primary
care physician before setting up an abortion appointment.
is very safe. It is safer than giving birth and safer than receiving an injection
of penicillin. Like all medical procedures, there are some risks with abortion,
but the risk is comparatively minimal.
Potential complications from the
abortion procedure include
- incomplete abortion - which means the
procedure needs to be repeated (a minor complication)
- infection - which
is easily treated with antibiotics
- perforation of the uterine wall -
for which the treatment may be nothing, to surgical repair in a hospital, depending
on the severity.
Less than 1% of all abortion patients experience
a major complication, such as serious pelvic infection, hemorrhage requiring a
blood transfusion or unintended major surgery. The risks associated with abortion
increases with the length of pregnancy. Hysterectomy is exceedingly rare.
risk of death associated with childbirth is about 10 times as high as that associated
Unless you have a complication during or after the abortion,
abortion has no impact on your future ability to get pregnant or carry a pregnancy
about the Abortion Procedure
The above information is
current as of May 2005. If the Washington State Legislature passes new laws affecting
abortion in WA state, this page will be updated. Washington State
abortion law is governed by Roe v. Wade,
the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in the U.S. in 1973 and Initiative 120 which was passed by the voters of Washington
often hear people say, 'in a perfect world there would be no abortions.' But in
my perfect world, the world I am hoping to help create, I do not toss out abortion
so hastily. We need a safe world for women, one in which we control our bodies,
our sexuality, our reproduction. And if abortion is part of a woman's quest, I
would have the experience be painless, nurturing, free, safe, and without stigma.
In my perfect world, each moment of our lives will be ones that encourage us to
love our bodies and celebrate our power."
- Sarah B., Young Women's Voices
Feminist Women's Health Center