Information On This Page
Abortion is legal and protected in Washington state. Abortions have been legal in Washington since 1970, and that has not changed even after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.
A lawsuit in Texas seeks to remove U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of mifepristone, a safe and effective drug that's been used in medication abortions by millions of Americans for over 20 years. As of April 21, 2023, the Supreme Court maintained full access to the drug nationally.
Separately, Washington state is leading a group of 17 states and the District of Columbia in a lawsuit to preserve and expand access to Mifepristone. On April 13, 2023, Judge Thomas O. Rice of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington issued an order affirming that access to mifepristone remains protected in Washington and the other states that are involved in the lawsuit.
This protection means that mifepristone can be prescribed up to 10 weeks' gestation by any certified provider. It can be obtained through the mail and via telehealth appointments. For more information, visit our web page on medication abortion. (Updated April 21, 2023)
How WA Protects Abortion Rights
- Abortions are legal up to the point of fetal viability (as determined by a provider) or to protect the life or health of the pregnant individual.
- No waiting periods are required to access an abortion.
- People of any age have the right to independently consent for their own abortion care – parental involvement is not required.
- You do not have to be a state resident nor a citizen of the United States to get abortion services here.
- A physician (MD), osteopathic physician (DO), physician assistant (PA), advanced registered nurse practitioner (ARNP), or certified nurse midwife (CNM) trained in abortion care may provide an abortion.
- State-regulated health insurance plans that cover maternity services must also cover abortion services.
- Public hospitals that provide maternity benefits, services, or information must also provide substantially equivalent abortion benefits, services, and information.
- The state funds abortion care for clients with health plans through Providence Health, which invokes a religious objection to covering abortion services. See our Increasing Access to Reproductive Choice page for specifics on how to obtain this coverage.
If you would like information about accessing abortion services in Washington, please see the Frequently Asked Questions page.
Abortion Providers in Washington State
There are 46 clinics that provide abortions in Washington. The Department of Health helps fund six agencies that have 34 of those clinics:
- Cedar River Clinics
- Equinox Primary Care
- Mount Baker Planned Parenthood
- Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette
- Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho
- Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, Hawai’i, Alaska, Indiana, and Kentucky
The Northwest Abortion Access Fund and the National Abortion Federation maintain lists of abortion providers in Washington. You can also visit Abortion Finder to locate abortion providers nationally. Other resources for finding abortion providers include ineedana.com and Aid Access.
For more information on how to find an abortion provider and how to pay for services, visit our FAQ page.
What are Crisis Pregnancy Centers?
Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), sometimes called pregnancy resource centers, are facilities that look like medical clinics or health centers offering pregnancy care but do not provide abortions or other sexual and reproductive health services. There are crisis pregnancy centers located in Washington.
- Most CPCs are not medical clinics or do not have licensed medical professionals on staff.
- Generally, they are not required to keep your information private or follow HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) guidelines.
- They may offer services like ultrasounds, pregnancy tests or counseling and other reproductive “counseling services.” However, they may not provide pregnant people accurate information or information on the full range of options for reproductive care, including abortion.
- They may pressure individuals or provide misleading information.
According to a 2020 study of the crisis pregnancy center industry by The Alliance, a collaborative of state and regional law and policy members:
- Almost one-half (45%) of CPCs in Washington are affiliates of a U.S.-based anti-abortion organization called CareNet;
- 1 in 5 (20%) CPCs in Washington are affiliates of Heartbeat International, an international anti-abortion organization;
- The majority of CPCs in Washington – 6 in 10 (60%) – make false and/or biased claims on their websites. Some promote abortion “reversal” treatment, which is not based on science and does not meet clinical standards.
If you are seeking abortion services, you can avoid crisis pregnancy centers by locating them on the Crisis Pregnancy Center Map, which has the most up-to-date information on CPC locations in Washington but may not be comprehensive. To ensure you will get the care you need, contact the clinic directly. Questions you can ask:
- Does this center provide abortions? If so, what type (medication, procedures)?
- If you don’t provide abortion care yourselves, do you provide referrals to a health care facility where people can find abortion care?
- If I come in for a visit, will I be seen by a licensed medical professional? If so, what kind of licensed medical professional (doctor, nurse, midwife, etc.)?
- Is the facility licensed? If so, what type of license?
- Does the center accept health insurance or Medicaid?
You can look up licensed Washington health care facilities on the Facilities Search website. And you can look up the credentials of specific health care providers on the Provider Credential Search website.
Abortion by the Numbers
Abortion is a common outcome of pregnancy. Data show that roughly 1 in 4 women will have an abortion by age 45.
People who seek abortion and people who give birth are often the same people at different points in their reproductive lives. Nationally, more than half of people (59%) who have abortions have previously given birth.
- Washington’s abortion rate has dropped every year since 2009.
- In 2021 there were 15,968 abortions among Washington residents, out of 100,340 reported pregnancies.
- In addition to abortion among Washington residents, in 2021, 998 abortions were provided to non-residents who traveled from out of state. Most of those people came from Idaho (407), Oregon (330), and Alaska (51). Overall, people seeking abortion in Washington came from 41 states, as well as Guam and Canada
- 2022 data is not yet complete.