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Low-Income Women's Access to Abortion

Washington allows women eligible for state medical assistance for maternity-care benefits to obtain public funds for abortion services.  Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.02.160 (Enacted 1992); Health & Recovery Servs. Admin., Physician-Related Servs. Billing Instructions, Reproductive Health Servs. (Dec. 31, 2009) at

In August 2013, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued an advisory opinion interpreting this provision of state law.  The opinion provides that where 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, it] a must also provide a 'substantially equivalent benefits, services, or information'" regarding contraception and abortion.  AGO 2013 No. 3 (2013).

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