Know Your Rights

Abortion is legal and protected in Washington State

Washington guarantees your right to an abortion

You have the fundamental right to have an abortion for any reason before viability of the fetus – meaning it can live outside your body (around 24 weeks of pregnancy, or six months).

After about 24 weeks, abortion is allowed in Washington if the abortion is necessary to protect your life or health. An abortion care provider will be able to tell you if it’s necessary.

In Washington, people of any age have the right to decide to have an abortion. This means that in Washington you don’t need consent from a parent, guardian, or partner.

People from other states can receive abortion care in Washington

You can live in another state or come from another state and get abortion services in Washington.

Washington state law enforcement and courts are not allowed to help other states with investigations or legal actions (criminal charges) if you get abortion care in Washington.

Abortions in Washington are confidential

Health care providers in Washington generally may not share health care information about you without your written consent. But if your pregnancy involves physical or sexual abuse, they have to tell the police.

You have the legal right to have all information about your abortion sent to you instead of the person who pays for your health insurance (including parents).

To make sure your abortion information stays private, call your insurance company to ask where information about your care will be sent and for instructions on how to complete the Confidentiality Request Form.

Washington requires that your insurance pays for abortion

All health insurance plans from Washington state (for example, if you are a resident) that cover pregnancy or maternity services are legally required to also cover abortion services*, including medication abortion (when pills are used to end a pregnancy).  In general, health plans may not charge you a co-pay for abortion care.

If you have Washington’s health insurance program, Apple Health (Medicaid), you may also be covered for after-abortion care, and after-abortion birth control.

If you do not have health insurance and do not qualify for Apple Health, you may get help from a clinic or the Northwest Abortion Access Fund.

*Providence health insurance does not cover abortion services due to a religious exemption. If you are a Providence client, the Department of Health can cover your abortion services. Find out if you are eligible to have your abortion services covered or email for more information.

Washington protects your right to safely get abortion

Washington law says that nobody is allowed to stop you from going to a place where you can get medical care, including abortion care. For example, if you see protesters outside a clinic, it is illegal for them to physically block you from entering.

You can meet a medical provider by phone or computer (a telehealth appointment) and have abortion pills mailed to an address within Washington State.

You can get abortion care from all trained providers in Washington

You can get abortion care from physicians (doctors) as well as physician assistants (PAs), advanced registered nurse practitioners (ARNPs) and certified nurse midwives (CNMs) trained in abortion care. Pharmacists are allowed to prescribe you medication abortion if they partner with a provider and are trained in medication abortion care.

To get an abortion in Washington, you can contact your regular health care provider or visit

Beware clinics that claim to offer reproductive health care but refuse to perform abortions or give abortion referrals. This type of clinic is commonly referred to as a “Crisis Pregnancy Center.”

Visit our Abortion webpage to learn more about how to access abortion care and avoid Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

Washington also protects access to birth control and emergency contraception

Emergency contraception can prevent pregnancy after unprotected sex and works best the sooner you can take it. Washington pharmacies must fill all valid prescriptions for emergency contraception and birth control.

Washington law generally requires all state-based health plans (including student health plans) to cover each type of FDA-approved contraceptive method, including emergency contraception, and usually at no cost and without restrictions or waiting.

All hospitals with emergency rooms must provide emergency contraception as a treatment option for sexual assault.

On rare occasions, a pharmacy doesn’t have to fill these prescriptions when there is medical reason not to (like an allergy to the medication) or the pharmacy does not have the drug and cannot get it quickly.

Additional resources

For advice about your rights and legal questions visit or call the Repro Legal Helpline 844-868-2812

Legal references for Washington state laws can be found on the Know Your Rights flyer from the  Attorney General’s Office.

Disclaimer: This website is for information only. It does not provide legal and medical advice or create an attorney-client relationship.