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Statement: Councilmember Robert White Introduces Three Bills to Expand Abortion Access

As the U.S. Supreme Court finalizes its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, which will likely overturn the legal right to abortion, the question is whether state and local governments will respond by increasing access to healthcare and civil liberties, or further restrict them. In the District, my fellow Councilmembers and I are determined to defend abortion access and the right of healthcare professionals to provide the care patients need.

Yesterday, I was proud to introduce three bills for the Council’s consideration, which I developed in consultation with local and national abortion advocates:

  1. The Reproductive Health Care Insurance Coverage Expansive Amendment Act of 2022, which requires private insurers to cover abortion care with no out-of-pocket expense for the patient.
  2. The Protecting Health Professionals Providing Reproductive Health Care Amendment Act of 2022, which prohibits health professional licensing boards from taking adverse action against a health care provider for providing an abortion for a resident of a state where abortion is illegal.
  3. The Medical Malpractice Clarification Amendment Act of 2022, which prohibits medical malpractice insurers from taking adverse action against a health care provider for providing an abortion for a person who is a resident of a state where abortion is illegal. 

I am grateful to my colleagues: Chairman Phil Mendelson, Councilmember Mary Cheh, Councilmember Anita Bonds, Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, Councilmember Charles Allen, Councilmember Brooke Pinto, Councilmember Christina Henderson, and Councilmember Janeese Lewis George for joining me in co-introducing these bills, and for their proactive support defending the right to abortion in Washington, DC.

Additionally, I look forward to the July 14 hearing of the Committee on Government Operations and Facilities, which I chair, on pending abortion-related legislation, including Councilmember Henderson’s “Enhancing Reproductive Health Protections Amendment Act of 2022” and Councilmember Nadeau’s “Human Rights Sanctuary Amendment Act of 2022.”

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