WASHINGTON. Revised Code of
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Title 9 RCW
CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS
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Chapter 9.02 RCW
Transfer of duties to the department of health.
The powers and duties of the state board of health under this chapter shall be performed by the department of health.
Every person who shall endeavor to conceal the birth of a child by any disposition of its dead body, whether the child died before or after its birth, shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor.
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 RCW 9.02.100 through 9.02.170 and 9.02.900 through 9.02.902;
(3) Except as specifically permitted by RCW 9.02.100 through 9.02.170 and 9.02.900 through 9.02.902, 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.
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.
Unauthorized abortions -- Penalty.
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.
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 RCW 9.02.100 through 9.02.170 and 9.02.900 through 9.02.902.
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.
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:
(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
(5) "Health care provider" means a physician or a person acting under the general direction of a physician.
(6) "State" means the state of
(7) "Private medical facility" means any medical facility that is not owned or operated by the state.
Construction -- 1992 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 120).
RCW 9.02.100 through 9.02.170 and 9.02.900 through 9.02.902 shall not be construed to define the state's interest in the fetus for any purpose other than the specific provisions of RCW 9.02.100 through 9.02.170 and 9.02.900 through 9.02.902.
Severability -- 1992 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 120).
If any provision of RCW 9.02.100 through 9.02.170 and 9.02.900 through 9.02.902 or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of RCW 9.02.100 through 9.02.170 and 9.02.900 through 9.02.902 or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.
Short title -- 1992 c 1 (Initiative Measure No. 120).
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Chapter 9.68 RCW
OBSCENITY AND PORNOGRAPHY
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Indecent articles, etc.
Every person who shall expose for sale, loan or distribution, any instrument or article, or any drug or medicine, for causing unlawful abortion; or shall write, print, distribute or exhibit any card, circular, pamphlet, advertisement or notice of any kind, stating when, where, how or of whom such article or medicine can be obtained, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
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Title 9A RCW
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Chapter 9A.50 RCW
INTERFERENCE WITH HEALTH CARE FACILITIES OR PROVIDERS
The legislature finds that seeking or obtaining health care is fundamental to public health and safety.
Unless the context clearly
requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this
(1) "Health care facility" means a facility that provides health care services directly to patients, including but not limited to, a hospital, clinic, health care provider's office, health maintenance organization, diagnostic or treatment center, neuropsychiatric or mental health facility, hospice, or nursing home.
(2) "Health care provider" has the same meaning as defined in RCW 7.70.020 (1) and (2), and also means an officer, director, employee, or agent of a health care facility who sues or testifies regarding matters within the scope of his or her employment.
(3) "Aggrieved" means:
(a) A person, physically present at the health care facility when the prohibited actions occur, whose access is or is about to be obstructed or impeded;
(b) A person, physically present at the health care facility when the prohibited actions occur, whose care is or is about to be disrupted;
(c) The health care facility, its employees, or agents;
(d) The owner of the health care facility or the building or property upon which the health care facility is located.
Interference with health care facility.
It is unlawful for a person
except as otherwise protected by state or federal law, alone or in concert with
others, to willfully or recklessly interfere with access to or from a health
care facility or willfully or recklessly disrupt the normal functioning of such
(1) Physically obstructing or impeding the free passage of a person seeking to enter or depart from the facility or from the common areas of the real property upon which the facility is located;
(2) Making noise that unreasonably disturbs the peace within the facility;
(3) Trespassing on the facility or the common areas of the real property upon which the facility is located;
(4) Telephoning the facility repeatedly, or knowingly permitting any telephone under his or her control to be used for such purpose; or
(5) Threatening to inflict injury on the owners, agents, patients, employees, or property of the facility or knowingly permitting any telephone under his or her control to be used for such purpose.
A violation of RCW 9A.50.020 is a gross
misdemeanor. A person convicted of violating RCW 9A.50.020 shall be
punished as follows:
(1) For a first offense, a fine of not less than two hundred fifty dollars and a jail term of not less than twenty-four consecutive hours;
(2) For a second offense, a fine of not less than five hundred dollars and a jail term of not less than seven consecutive days; and
(3) For a third or subsequent offense, a fine of not less than one thousand dollars and a jail term of not less than thirty consecutive days.
(1) A person or health care
facility aggrieved by the actions prohibited by RCW 9A.50.020 may seek civil
damages from those who committed the prohibited acts and those acting in
concert with them. A plaintiff in an action brought under this chapter shall
not recover more than his or her actual damages and additional sums authorized
in RCW 9A.50.050.
Once a plaintiff recovers his or her actual damages and any additional sums
authorized under this chapter, additional damages shall not be recovered. A
person does not have to be criminally convicted of violating RCW 9A.50.020 to be held
civilly liable under this section. It is not necessary to prove actual damages
to recover the additional sums authorized under RCW 9A.50.050, costs, and
attorneys' fees. The prevailing party is entitled to recover costs and
(2) The superior courts of this state shall have authority to grant temporary, preliminary, and permanent injunctive relief to enjoin violations of this chapter.
In appropriate circumstances, any superior court having personal jurisdiction over one or more defendants may issue injunctive relief that shall have binding effect on the original defendants and persons acting in concert with the original defendants, in any county in the state.
Due to the nature of the harm involved, injunctive relief may be issued without bond in the discretion of the court, notwithstanding any other requirement imposed by statute.
The state and its political subdivisions shall cooperate in the enforcement of court injunctions that seek to protect against acts prohibited by this chapter.
In a civil action brought under this chapter, an individual plaintiff aggrieved by the actions prohibited by RCW 9A.50.020 may be entitled to recover up to five hundred dollars for each day that the actions occurred, or up to five thousand dollars for each day that the actions occurred if the plaintiff aggrieved by the actions prohibited under RCW 9A.50.020 is a health care facility.
Nothing in RCW 9A.50.020 shall prohibit either lawful picketing or other publicity for the purpose of providing the public with information.
Protection of health care patients and providers.
A court having jurisdiction over a criminal or civil proceeding under this chapter shall take all steps reasonably necessary to safeguard the individual privacy and prevent harassment of a health care patient or health care provider who is a party or witness in a proceeding, including granting protective orders and orders in limine.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to limit the right to seek other available criminal or civil remedies. The remedies provided in this chapter are cumulative, not exclusive.
Severability -- 1993 c 128.
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.
Effective date -- 1993 c 128.
This act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, or safety, or support of the state government and its existing public institutions, and shall take effect immediately [April 26, 1993].
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Title 18 RCW
BUSINESSES AND PROFESSIONS
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Chapter 18.71 RCW
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Abortion -- Right to medical treatment of infant born alive.
The right of medical treatment of an infant born alive in the course of an abortion procedure shall be the same as the right of an infant born prematurely of equal gestational age.
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Title 68 RCW
CEMETERIES, MORGUES, AND HUMAN REMAINS
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Chapter 68.50 RCW
Coroner's jurisdiction over remains.
The jurisdiction of bodies of all deceased persons who come to their death suddenly when in apparent good health without medical attendance within the thirty-six hours preceding death; or where the circumstances of death indicate death was caused by unnatural or unlawful means; or where death occurs under suspicious circumstances; or where a coroner's autopsy or post mortem or coroner's inquest is to be held; or where death results from unknown or obscure causes, or where death occurs within one year following an accident; or where the death is caused by any violence whatsoever, or where death results from a known or suspected abortion; whether self-induced or otherwise; where death apparently results from drowning, hanging, burns, electrocution, gunshot wounds, stabs or cuts, lightning, starvation, radiation, exposure, alcoholism, narcotics or other addictions, tetanus, strangulations, suffocation or smothering; or where death is due to premature birth or still birth; or where death is due to a violent contagious disease or suspected contagious disease which may be a public health hazard; or where death results from alleged rape, carnal knowledge or sodomy, where death occurs in a jail or prison; where a body is found dead or is not claimed by relatives or friends, is hereby vested in the county coroner, which bodies may be removed and placed in the morgue under such rules as are adopted by the coroner with the approval of the county commissioners, having jurisdiction, providing therein how the bodies shall be brought to and cared for at the morgue and held for the proper identification where necessary.
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Title 74 RCW
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Chapter 74.12 RCW
TEMPORARY ASSISTANCE FOR NEEDY FAMILIES
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Reduce reliance on aid -- Work and job training -- Family planning -- Staff training.
The department shall train financial
services and social work staff who provide direct service to recipients of
temporary assistance for needy families to:
(1) Effectively communicate the transitional nature of temporary assistance for needy families and the expectation that recipients will enter employment;
(2) Actively refer clients to the job opportunities and basic skills program;
(3) Provide social services needed to overcome obstacles to employability; and
(4) Provide family planning information and assistance, including alternatives to abortion, which shall be conducted in consultation with the department of health.
Family planning information -- Cooperation with the superintendent of public instruction -- Abstinence education and motivation programs, contracts -- Legislative review and oversight of programs and contracts.
(1) At time of application or
reassessment under this chapter the department shall offer or contract for
family planning information and assistance, including alternatives to abortion,
and any other available locally based teen pregnancy prevention programs, to
prospective and current recipients of aid to families with dependent children.
(2) The department shall work in cooperation with the superintendent of public instruction to reduce the rate of illegitimate births and abortions in
(3) The department of health shall maximize federal funding by timely application for federal funds available under P.L. 104-193 and Title V of the federal social security act, 42 U.S.C. 701 et seq., as amended, for the establishment of qualifying abstinence education and motivation programs. The department of health shall contract, by competitive bid, with entities qualified to provide abstinence education and motivation programs in the state.
(4) The department of health shall seek and accept local matching funds to the maximum extent allowable from qualified abstinence education and motivation programs.
(5)(a) For purposes of this section, "qualifying abstinence education and motivation programs" are those bidders with experience in the conduct of the types of abstinence education and motivation programs set forth in Title V of the federal social security act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 701 et seq., as amended.
(b) The application for federal funds, contracting for abstinence education and motivation programs and performance of contracts under this section are subject to review and oversight by a joint committee of the legislature, composed of four legislative members, appointed by each of the two caucuses in each house.
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