The Current Law on Abortion in WA State is Initiative 120

the Reproductive Privacy Act

Initiative 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 9.02.

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.

The 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 health."

RCW 9.02.100 Reproductive privacy--Public policy.

The sovereign people hereby declare that every individual possesses a fundamental right of privacy with respect to personal reproductive decisions.

Accordingly, it is the public policy of the state of Washington that:

  1. Every individual has the fundamental right to choose or refuse birth control;

  2. Every woman has the fundamental right to choose or refuse to have an abortion, except as specifically limited by this act

  3. Except 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

  4. The state shall not discriminate against the exercise of these rights in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information.

RCW 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.

The 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 regulation.

Any regulation promulgated by the state relating to abortion shall be valid only if:

  1. The regulation is medically necessary to protect the life or health of the woman terminating her pregnancy,

  2. The regulation is consistent with established medical practice, and

  3. Of the available alternatives, the regulation imposes the least restrictions on the woman's right to have an abortion as defined by this act.

RCW 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 benefits.

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.

RCW 9.02.170 Definitions.

For purposes of this chapter:

  1. "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.

  2. "Abortion" means any medical treatment intended to induce the termination of a pregnancy except for the purpose of producing a live birth.

  3. "Pregnancy" means the reproductive process beginning with the implantation of an embryo.

  4. "Physician" means a physician licensed to practice under chapter 18.57 or 18.71 RCW in the state of Washington.

  5. "Health care provider" means a physician or a person acting under the general direction of a physician.

  6. "State" means the state of Washington and counties,cities, towns, municipal corporations, and quasi-municipal corporations in the state of Washington.

  7. "Private medical facility" means any medical facility that is not owned or operated by the state.

RCW 9.02.900 Construction

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

If 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.

RCW 9.02.902 Short title

This act shall be known and may be cited as the Reproductive Privacy Act.

triangle bulletIt 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

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