BILL REQ. #:  S-3845.1 


State of Washington61st Legislature2010 Regular Session

By Senators Tom, Kohl-Welles, Kline, McDermott, Marr, Keiser, Prentice, Ranker, Eide, and Pridemore

Read first time 01/14/10.   Referred to Committee on Health & Long-Term Care.

     AN ACT Relating to limited service pregnancy centers; and adding a new chapter to Title 70 RCW.


NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1   (1) The legislature finds that:
     (a) Seeking or obtaining health care is fundamental to public health and safety;
     (b) Health care information is personal and sensitive information that if improperly used, released, or withheld from a patient may do significant harm to a patient's interests in privacy, health care, or other interests;
     (c) The provision of medically inaccurate information may harm individual access to needed health care and jeopardizes the public health and consumer protection; and
     (d) Some limited service pregnancy centers have misled people about the nature of their services, have provided medically inaccurate information about reproductive health, and have withheld health care records, including the results of pregnancy tests, from individuals seeking services.
     (2) It is the intent of the legislature that limited service pregnancy centers operating in Washington state provide truthful information about their services, ensure that any reproductive health information provided is medically accurate, and maintain the privacy of and respect a person's right to his or her health care information.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2   As used in this chapter:
     (1) "Comprehensive birth control services" means the provision of nondirective counseling on methods and efficacy of contraception, the prescription of contraceptive drugs or devices, the provision of contraceptive drugs or devices, and medical diagnosis and care related to the prescription or provision of contraceptive drugs or devices.
     (2) "Limited service pregnancy center" means an organization that advertises, offers, or provides pregnancy tests or ultrasounds, and information about adoption or abortion, whether for a fee or as a free service, but does not provide any of the following: Prenatal medical care, comprehensive birth control services, abortion or referrals for abortion. "Limited service pregnancy center" does not include health care entities licensed under Title 18 RCW, hospitals and entities licensed under Title 70 RCW, family planning clinics under contract with the department of health or the department of social and health services to provide family planning services, family planning clinics receiving federal Title X funds, or health care providers licensed under Title 18 RCW. A limited service pregnancy center remains subject to the provisions of this chapter notwithstanding the presence of a licensed health care provider in the governance of, on the staff of, or acting as a volunteer with the limited service pregnancy center.
     (3) "Health care information" has the same meaning as in RCW 70.02.010(7).
     (4) "Medically and scientifically accurate" has the same meaning as in RCW 28A.300.475(2).
     (5) "Reproductive health information" means information about: (a) The medical risks of pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage, and sexually transmitted infections; and (b) methods of prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3   (1) A limited service pregnancy center shall make the following disclosures to a person seeking services:
     (a) That the center does not provide abortion or comprehensive birth control services;
     (b) That the center does not provide referrals to individuals or organizations that provide abortion or comprehensive birth control services; and
     (c) That the center does not provide medical care for pregnant women.
     (2) The disclosure required by subsection (1) of this section must be provided as follows:
     (a) Verbally, in such a manner as to be reasonably understandable to the person seeking services, upon first communication or first contact with a person seeking services, whether by telephone, electronic communication, or in person; and
     (b) In writing, as follows:
     (i) In English and in Spanish, in thirty-point font size or larger, on eight and one-half inch by eleven inch paper or larger, posted (A) on the main entry door of the organization and (B) inside the building housing the organization in such a manner as to be clearly visible from the area at which the organization conducts intakes; and
     (ii) In English and in Spanish, clearly visible on the home page of the organization's web site, in the primary font size used on the web site; and
     (iii) In any advertisement or notice promoting the center's services.
     (3) A limited service pregnancy center shall, before providing a pregnancy test that uses an over-the-counter product to perform the pregnancy test, inform the person seeking to be tested that the pregnancy test is an over-the-counter product and shall give the test kit to the person seeking to be tested to self-administer.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4   All reproductive health information provided by a limited service pregnancy center, whether provided orally or in writing, must be medically and scientifically accurate.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5   (1) A limited service pregnancy center that collects health care information from a person seeking or receiving its services shall not disclose health care information about that person to any other person, entity, or organization without the service recipient's written authorization. A disclosure made under a service recipient's written authorization must conform to the authorization.
     (2) To be valid, a service recipient's authorization shall conform to the requirements of RCW 70.02.030(3).
     (3) A limited service pregnancy center that provides or assists in the provision of pregnancy testing, whether for a fee or without charge, whether those tests are over-the-counter or laboratory tests, shall provide the person tested with a free written statement of the results of the pregnancy test immediately after the test is completed.
     (4) Upon receipt of a written request from a service recipient to examine or copy all or part of the recipient's recorded health care information, a limited service pregnancy center, as promptly as required under the circumstances, but no later than fifteen working days after receiving the request shall:
     (a) Make the information available for examination during regular business hours and provide a free copy to the service recipient, if requested;
     (b) Inform the service recipient if the information does not exist or cannot be found; and
     (c) If the limited service pregnancy center does not maintain a record of the information, inform the service recipient and provide the name and address, if known, of the entity that maintains the record.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6   The legislature finds that the practices covered by this chapter are matters vitally affecting the public interest for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW. A violation of this chapter is not reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of business and is an unfair or deceptive act in trade or commerce and an unfair method of competition for the purpose of applying the consumer protection act, chapter 19.86 RCW. Remedies provided by chapter 19.86 RCW are cumulative and not exclusive.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 7   If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected.

NEW SECTION.  Sec. 8   Sections 1 through 6 of this act constitute a new chapter in Title 70 RCW.

--- END ---