In clear language, Washington’s attorney general today made clear that public hospital districts that provide maternity services must provide substantially equivalent services for contraception and abortion.
The situation on San Juan Island inspired the request for an AG opinion. Here, the hospital district commissioners committed 95-97% of available public funds over the next 50 years to a religious institution, PeaceHealth, that forbids abortion as a matter of policy. About 50 hospital districts are affected by today’s decision and will need to come into compliance with the law. The AG made clear, without discussing the specifics of any particular situation, that the hospital district commissioners here on San Juan Island, along with many others, must operate in compliance with the law.