Washington State House Democrats


Legislature Approves Reproductive Care Provider Protections

OLYMPIA – Reproductive and gender-affirming care providers have a new layer of protection under new legislation approved by the Legislature this year. Sponsored by Rep. Marcus Riccelli (D-Spokane), HB 1340 is one of several key bills passed by Democrats this year to protect the right to an abortion. While states like Idaho, Texas, and Florida continue to erode rights and even look to criminalize them, Washington Democrats are leading the nation in ensuring access to care is law of the land in Washington state.

Under the new law when signed by the governor, health care providers are protected from discipline or having their license denied if they provide care that is in accordance with Washington state law. This will ensure that if a doctor loses their license in a neighboring state, such as Idaho, for providing legal care, their Washington license remains protected. The Senate amended the bill to add an emergency clause, given recent rulings and laws passed by extremist judges and lawmakers that jeopardize access to reproductive care.

“If the past year has taught us anything, it is that extremist lawmakers across the country are trying to take away the right to reproductive care for everyone. We were told after Dobbs that abortion would be left to the states. Now, we’re seeing far-right lawmakers trying to pass laws to go after doctors in states like Washington, and extremist judges issuing nationwide rulings to take away safe, effective abortion medication. These attacks on the right to reproductive care will never stop which is why Washington must stand up and protect the right to access essential healthcare. They won’t stop coming for your rights, but I’ll never stop working to protect your rights,” said Riccelli.

Katina Rue, DO, President of the Washington State Medical Association, shared the following upon HB 1340’s introduction: “Since the fall of Roe, Washington state physicians and health care providers have been concerned about how the anti-choice laws of other states may impact us here. We want to continue providing the full range of reproductive health care services, including abortion, to our patients without fear that doing so could put our medical license in jeopardy. The state must continue to be a safe haven for access to abortion for our health care professionals as well as the patients they serve. This legislation will ensure stronger protections as we navigate these new uncertainties.”

HB 1340 passed the House on February 28 along a party line vote with every Republican voting against the bill and passed the Senate on April 6, also along a party line vote with Republicans all voting no. The House concurred with the Senate amendments on April 14, once again with all present Republicans voting against and all Democrats voting in favor, and the bill now heads to the governor for his approval.