The District of Columbia’s City Council is entirely pro-abortion, and it essentially enacts pro-abortion policies at will, limited only by the U.S. Congress’ oversight. As a result, the District of Columbia has extreme anti-life policies.

Before Roe was overturned, the D.C. City Council enacted a “Roe bill” that removed the few safeguards still in place, including preventing any parental involvement for minors seeking abortion. It also established abortion as a “fundamental human right,” and allows “abortion on demand” through virtual visits.  

In 2022, the D.C. City Council enacted a law that prohibits penalizing a person for “assisting an individual who is seeking, inducing, or attempting to induce their own abortion.” The law also prohibits penalizing a person for “any act of providing, dispensing, administering, or transferring possession of self-managed abortion product.” That same year, the D.C. City Council amended the Human Rights Act of 1977 to prevent the District from cooperating with any interstate investigation or proceeding seeking to impose liability on a person for certain conduct, including performing or inducing an abortion.

Washington, D.C. has four abortion centers, including at least two that do third-trimester elective abortions. However, the District has two pregnancy centers, as well as nearby Maryland and Virginia-based organizations, that serve women and families in the District.

The District’s judges are selected by the Judicial Nominating Committee and confirmed by the D.C. Senate. Recently, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled in favor of pro-life plaintiffs, finding that they “plausibly alleged the District discriminated on the basis of viewpoint” when D.C. police arrested two pro-life advocates for writing pro-life messages on a city sidewalk with chalk.

The mayor of D.C., Muriel Bowser, who was re-elected to a third term in 2023, is unabashedly pro-abortion. The District does not specifically license or regulate abortion businesses, but it does conduct an annual licensure survey.

District of Columbia Pro-Life Legislation Tracker

Unsafe Spotlight

AUL filed a public records request with the D.C. Department of Health under the District of Columbia Freedom of Information Act, D.C. Code § 2-531 et seq., and received an acknowl- edgment of our request, but no documents. The District of Columbia does not inspect or license abortion businesses. The District conducts annual licensure surveys during which facilities are inspected. Two of the documents sent to AUL indicated inspections resulted in no deficiencies and three included deficiencies.

Among the deficiencies were vials “stored in the locked controlled substance box in the refrigerator without evidence of a label to identify the ‘open’ date” or any “use by” date. There was also evidence of “comingling of medications with biological agents” and improper equipment sterilization. Staff also failed to properly take medical histories from patients in order to properly treat them, as well as improper record keeping indicating either missing or incorrect information in multiple patient records. In the DC Planned Parenthood, neither patient bathroom contained an emergency call bell system which would allow staff to assist a patient in an emergency.

DATE RANGE: 2012-2017