State AG: Hospitals With Maternity Care Must Offer Abortion Services

Aug 21, 2013

Washington's attorney general says public hospital districts that provide maternity care must also provide equivalent abortion services.

Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued an opinion Wednesday in response to an inquiry from a state lawmaker. The ACLU and other advocacy organizations have been concerned about hospital mergers involving religious health organizations, worried that more secular hospitals would end up following religious rules.

Ferguson says the law under Initiative 120 is clear. Ferguson did not explain how hospital could comply with the rules or what constitutes equivalent services. Democratic Sen. Kevin Ranker says the opinion is a victory for equal access to health care options.