WSR 18-24-115
[Filed December 4, 2018, 5:11 p.m.]
The Washington attorney general routinely publishes notice of an opportunity to comment for opinion requests that we receive from the heads of state agencies, state legislators, and county prosecuting attorneys if we anticipate publishing a formal opinion in response to the request. We do so in order to provide members of the public with a chance to provide any legal analysis that they would like us to consider as we develop our opinion. In preparing any comments, please be aware that our opinion will provide our considered legal analysis of the question presented, and therefore comments that address the interpretation of the law are more helpful than comments that express an opinion as to what the law should be.
If you are interested in commenting on a request listed in this volume of the register, you should notify the attorney general's office of your interest by December 26, 2018. This is not the due date by which comments must be received, and we will consider any comments we receive before we complete our opinion. However, if you do not notify the attorney general's office of your interest in commenting on an opinion request by this date, the opinion may be issued before your comments have been received. You may notify the attorney general's office of your intention to comment by email to or by writing to the Office of the Attorney General, Solicitor General Division, Attention Jeff Even, Deputy Solicitor General, P.O. Box 40100, Olympia, WA 98504-0100. When you notify the office of your intention to comment, you may be provided with a copy of the opinion request in which you are interested, information about the attorney general's opinion process, information on how to submit your comments, and a due date by which your comments must be received to ensure that they are fully considered.
If you are interested in receiving notice of new formal opinion requests via email, you may visit the attorney general's web site at for more information on how to join our AGO opinions list.
The attorney general's office seeks public input on the following opinion request(s):
Opinion Docket No. 18-09-01
Request by Representative Eileen Cody, District 34
1. Does RCW 18.79.050 supersede the physician-only restriction in the Reproductive Privacy Act (RPA) insofar as that restriction would prevent qualified Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs) from performing first trimester aspiration abortion?
2. The plain language of the RPA permits health care professionals to perform abortions under the supervision of a licensed physician, and there is nothing in the RPA that requires this supervision to be in-person. Does this mean that there is nothing in the RPA to prevent physician assistants (who at all times operate underthe supervision of a licensed physician) from performing first trimester aspiration abortions?
3. Assuming that the RPA does not prohibit qualified Physician's Assistants (PAs) whose scope of practice includes first trimester aspiration abortion from providing this service, does the RPA require in-person supervision by a physician?
4. Does the application of the physician-only restriction in the RPA to Advanced Practice Clinicians (APCs) in Washington State otherwise violate state or federal law?