WASHINGTON, DC - In the wake of the US Supreme Court’s decision dismantling the constitutional right to abortion, yesterday a hearing was held in the Council of the District of Columbia’s Committee on Government Operations and Facilities for DC Councilmembers Christina Henderson and Brianne K. Nadeau bills — The Enhancing Reproductive Health Protections Amendment Act of 2022 and The Human Rights Sanctuary Amendment Act of 2022 — that aim to protect access to abortion, protect those who seek an abortion, and protect those who provide and assist with an abortion in Washington, DC. Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC applauds Councilmembers Henderson and Nadeau for this bold legislation and thanks Committee Chair Robert White for bringing these bills forward for a committee hearing.
“Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC (PPMW) is determined to keep abortion safe, legal, and accessible for all who come to us in need,” said PPMW CEO & President Dr. Laura Meyers. “Unfortunately, those who call DC home are vulnerable to the types of abortion restrictions we’re seeing take hold following the overturn of Roe. Congress already forbids DC from using its local tax dollars to cover abortion for patients on Medicaid. PPMW is grateful to Councilmembers Henderson and Nadeau for introducing legislation and Chair Robert White for facilitating a swift hearing on this legislation that will help protect abortion in DC.“
The Enhancing Reproductive Health Protections Amendment Act of 2022, sponsored by Councilmember Henderson, would protect those who support and assist individuals self-managing an abortion and to shield those who provide, dispense, or transfer any product used for self-managed abortion from penalties.
The Human Rights Sanctuary Amendment Act of 2022, sponsored by Councilmember Nadeau, would prevent DC from cooperating with out-of-state investigations that seek to impose civil or criminal liability for abortion care, the use of contraception and other protected conduct. The bill also creates a private right of action for lawsuits against parties who successfully bring Texas SB8-style bounty claims against them for engaging in protected conduct.
“As the oldest and largest provider of reproductive health services in the region, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, DC witnesses firsthand how congressional interference adversely affects our patients’ ability to safely access vital health care services,” said PPMW Medical Director Dr. Serina Floyd. “Our health centers are already seeing an increase in patients from other states seeking abortion and we are preparing to see bigger increases over the coming weeks. This legislation represents a hopeful step ensuring that providers can provide, and patients can receive, the care they need without fear or retribution.”
PPMW provides high-quality, compassionate healthcare, including reproductive care; promotes sexual health; and advocates for reproductive rights and health equity for all.