An act permitting the termination of pregnancy when performed: (1) By or under the supervision of a licensed physician; (2) within four lunar months after conception upon a woman not quick with child who has resided in this state for at least ninety days prior to termination; (3) with the woman's consent and that of her husband, if she is residing with him, or if unmarried and under eighteen years of age, with her consent and that of her legal guardian; and providing that no objecting hospital, physician or other person shall be required to participate in a termination of pregnancy.
At the time of this plebiscite approximately 15 states had liberalized abortion laws. However, with passage, Washington became the first (and to date, only) to do so through a popular referendum. This, three years prior to the United States Supreme Court's landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Voters revisited state abortion law in 1991 with Initiative 120. While Referendum 20 amended existing law, Initiative 120 repealed the previous law. Referendum 20 had originally required the concurrence of the woman's spouse or guardian as a compromise to get enough votes to place the measure on the ballot. Initiative 120 granted the woman in question sole domain in making the decision to seek an abortion, as well as underscoring individual right to privacy. Perhaps reflecting increasing divisions over abortion policy, voters approved Initiative 120 by a mere fra[More...]