to the Washington State Legislature
Chapter 1, Laws of 1992
REPRODUCTIVE PRIVACY ACT
EFFECTIVE DATE: 12/24/91
Approved by the
People of the State of Washington
in the General Election on
November 5, 1991
April 2, 1990
Secretary of State
State of Washington
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1991 Regular Session
By the People of the State of Washington.
Read first time January 18, 1991. Referred to Committee on Health Care.
AN ACT Relating to reproductive privacy; adding new sections to chapter 9.02 RCW; repealing RCW 9.02.010, 9.02.020, 9.02.030, 9.02.040, 9.02.060, 9.02.070, 9.02.080, and 9.02.090; and prescribing penalties.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF WASHINGTON:
NEW SECTION. Sec. 1. 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.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 2. 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.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 3. Unless authorized by section 2 of this act, any person who performs an abortion on another person shall be guilty of a class C felony punishable under chapter 9A.20 RCW.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 4. 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.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 5. 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.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 6. 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.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 7. 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.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 8. 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.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 9. The following acts or parts of acts are each repealed:
(1) RCW 9.02.010 and 1909 c 249 s 196, Code of 1881 s 821, 1873 p 188 s 42, 1869 p 209 s 40, & 1854 p 81 s 38;
(2) RCW 9.02.020 and 1909 c 249 s 197;
(3) RCW 9.02.030 and 1909 c 249 s 198;
(4) RCW 9.02.040 and 1909 c 249 s 199;
(5) RCW 9.02.060 and 1970 ex.s. c 3 s 1;
(6) RCW 9.02.070 and 1970 ex.s. c 3 s 2;
(7) RCW 9.02.080 and 1970 ex.s. c 3 s 3; and
(8) RCW 9.02.090 and 1970 ex.s. c 3 s 5.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 10. 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.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 11. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.
NEW SECTION. Sec. 12. This act shall be known and may be cited as the Reproductive Privacy Act.