New Washington State Laws Relating to Reproductive Health Services and Gender-Affirming Care

LifeWire welcomes and supports the recent enactment of a groundbreaking law by the Washington State Legislature in 2023, aimed at safeguarding the rights of people seeking reproductive health care services and gender-affirming treatment. The legislation comes as a response to the 2022 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, emphasizing the importance of states having the authority to establish their laws pertaining to reproductive rights. The new law, known as HB 1469 or The Shield Law, aims to protect access to essential healthcare services in Washington.

Effective April 27, 2023, The Shield Law (HB 1469) provides comprehensive protections for providers of reproductive health care services or gender-affirming treatment in Washington state. This law ensures that these essential services are accessible to all individuals, regardless of their location or circumstances.

Protected healthcare services under HB 1469 encompass a wide range of medical, surgical, psychiatric, therapeutic, and preventative care related to the human reproductive system. This includes services such as pregnancy-related care, contraception, miscarriage management, termination of pregnancy, and gender-affirming treatment.

One of the key provisions of The Shield Law is its prohibition on complying with out-of-state legal processes concerning protected healthcare services in Washington. This protection extends to both civil and criminal processes, ensuring that patients and providers in Washington state are shielded from potential legal actions in other states that may threaten their access to these vital services.

The Washington State Attorney General’s Office is empowered to intervene in case of violations and enforce the established protections. Healthcare providers, employees, or affiliates facing threats or harassment related to their involvement in protected healthcare services can now apply for address confidentiality through the Secretary of State’s Address Confidentiality Program.

The passage of HB 1469 reflects Washington State’s commitment to safe and inclusive healthcare policies by safeguarding access to healthcare services and gender-affirming care without fear of legal repercussions. This law helps to ensure that Washington will remain a supportive healthcare environment that upholds the well-being and dignity of all.

LifeWire fully supports these legislative measures, as they align with our mission to empower survivors of domestic violence and ensure their access to comprehensive and compassionate care. At LifeWire, we remain dedicated to fostering a safe and supportive community where all individuals have access to the services they need for a healthier and more fulfilling life.


  • HB 1469 – Concerning access to reproductive health care services and gender-affirming treatment in Washington state.
  • Title 7 RCW – Sections 1, 2, and 13-17 of HB 1469 will be codified as a new chapter in Title 7.
  • RCW 9.02 – Reproductive Privacy Act