Proposed bill would make DC a sanctuary city for people seeking abortions

The district would become a sanctuary city for abortion seekers under a bill introduced Friday to the city council.

The district would become a sanctuary city for abortion seekers under a bill introduced to city council on Friday.

It is a response to fears that the Supreme Court may overturn its 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, the case that legalized abortion nationwide, as reported in a draft notice recently leaked to Politico.



The Human Rights Sanctuary Amendment Act 2022 would update the Human Rights Act 1977. The plan would prohibit DC from cooperating if a state tries to prosecute someone who travels to the nation’s capital to have an abortion.

It was introduced by Ward 1 Council Member Brianne Nadeau and nine of her colleagues: President Phil Mendelson, Council Members Charles Allen, Anita Bonds, Vincent Gray, Christina Henderson, Janeese Lewis George, Kenyan McDuffie, Elissa Silverman and Robert White.

“With this bill, I am solidifying the rights of our own residents, as well as those who may now be forced to move here to preserve their rights,” Nadeau said.

The plan would also protect people from laws that allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps someone have an abortion after around six weeks of pregnancy. Texas signed a similar bill earlier this year.

“I now have two daughters, so it’s very personal, and I want everyone’s child to be able to access the health care they need,” Nadeau said.

Fearing that other rights currently constitutionally protected by Supreme Court rulings could also be at risk, the plan would also cover people who enter into same-sex marriages and gender-affirming health care in the nation’s capital.

“We shouldn’t let the Republican agenda seep into our justice system and overturn what is the law,” Nadeau said.

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