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Washington

Refusal to Provide Medical Services

ABORTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Washington allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Individuals and private medical facilities.

What does the refusal clause allow? No person who, or private medical facility that, objects may be required by law or contract in any circumstances to participate in abortion services. No person may be discriminated against in employment or professional privileges because of participating or refusing to participate in abortion services.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected? No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services? No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause? No.

Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 9.02.150 (Enacted 1992). 

HEALTH-CARE PROVIDER AND HEALTH-CARE INSTITUTION

Washington allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to comply with an individual health-care instruction or decision based on conscience.

To whom does the refusal clause apply? Individuals, religiously sponsored health insurers, and health-care facilities.

What does the refusal clause allow? No health-care provider, religiously sponsored health insurer, or health-care facility may be required by law or contract to participate in a service if it objects for reason of conscience or religion.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to notify the persons affected? In some cases, yes. Religiously sponsored health insurers must provide written notice to enrollees upon enrollment with the plan, listing the services that the insurer refuses to cover for reasons of conscience or religion.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for services?
No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause? Yes. The law provides that the health-care provider must provide written information descirbing how an erollee may directly access services.

Wash. Rev. Code Ann. § 48.43.065 (Enacted 1995).

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