KGMI News Reporting, AP News
By Karen Taylor
BELLINGHAM, Wash. – Washington’s Attorney General says public hospital districts that provide maternity care must also provide equivalent abortion services.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson issued the opinion in response to an inquiry from a state lawmaker Kevin Ranker.
Ferguson says the law under Initiative 120 is clear.
He did not explain how hospitals could comply with the rules or what constitutes equivalent services.
Sen. Ranker says he is pleased with the attorney general’s opinion.
Ranker says he is not as worried about local hospitals, but says there are other more restrictive hospitals in parts of the state that need to improve access to these services for women.
The opinion also states that these options must be made available regardless of the kind of organization, religious or otherwise, that runs the hospital.
The law does not apply to private hospitals.