D.C. Law 24-254. Enhancing Reproductive Health Protections Amendment Act of 2022.
To protect persons who assist and support others with self-managed abortions outside the healthcare system, re-codify certain existing protections regarding abortion, sterilization, and contraception, and clarify the extent of those existing protections and remedies in the event of a violation by the District government; and to amend the Human Rights Act of 1977 to add a definition and repeal the section providing the protections superseded by the aforementioned re-codification.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, That this act may be cited as the "Enhancing Reproductive Health Protections Amendment Act of 2022".
Title I. RIGHT TO BODILY AUTONOMY
Sec. 101. Government noninterference in reproductive health decisions.
(a) The District shall recognize the right of every individual to choose or refuse contraception or sterilization.
(b) The District shall recognize the right of every individual who becomes pregnant to decide whether to carry a pregnancy to term, to give birth, or to have an abortion.
(c) The District shall not:
(1) Deny, interfere with, or restrict, in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information, the right of an individual, including an individual under District control or supervision, to:
(A) Choose or refuse contraception or sterilization; or
(B) Choose or refuse to carry a pregnancy to term, to give birth, or to have an abortion;
(2) Interfere with or restrict in the regulation or provision of benefits, facilities, services, or information, the decision of a health care professional or health care provider acting within the scope of the health care professional or health care provider's license to participate in a consenting individual's use of contraception, prenatal care, labor, delivery, or abortion; or
(3) Penalize a person for:
(A) Seeking, inducing, or attempting to induce the person's own abortion;
(B) Any act or omission by an individual during the individual's pregnancy based on the potential or actual impact on the individual's health or pregnancy, unless the act or omission is otherwise prohibited by District law; provided, that nothing in this section shall be interpreted to prevent psychiatric commitment or other lawful measures to protect the health of an individual who is pregnant where such measures are applied on the same terms as would apply to a person who is not pregnant;
(C) Assisting an individual who is seeking, inducing, or attempting to induce their own abortion; provided, that nothing in this section shall be interpreted to protect the provision of an abortion procedure unless a licensed health care provider or professional acting within the scope of licensed practice performs the abortion on an individual who voluntarily consents to the procedure; or
(D) Any act of providing, dispensing, administering, or transferring possession of self-managed abortion product; provided, that nothing in this section shall be interpreted to protect:
(i) The provision or administration of a self-managed abortion product to an individual without the individual's voluntary consent; or
(ii) Any negligent or intentional adulteration of medication, intentional misrepresentation of medication safety information, or any act of negligently or intentionally providing, dispensing, administering, or transferring possession of counterfeit or adulterated medication.
(d) A person claiming to be aggrieved by a violation of this section shall have a cause of action in any court of competent jurisdiction for damages and such other remedies as may be appropriate. An action pursuant to this subsection shall be filed in a court of competent jurisdiction within 2 years of the violation or the discovery of the violation.
(e) For the purposes of this section, the term:
(1) "Contraception" means any device, medication, or practice designed or employed to prevent pregnancy, including emergency contraception, the use of which would be lawful in the District.
(2) "Health care professional" shall have the same meaning as provided in
(3) "Health care provider" shall have the same meaning as provided in
(4) "Person" shall have the same meaning as provided in
(5) "Self-managed abortion product" shall have the same meaning as provided in
Title II. CONFORMING AMENDMENTS
Sec. 201. The Human Rights Act of 1977, effective December 13, 1977 (D.C. Law 2-38, effective December 13, 1977; D.C. Official Code §§ 2-1401.01 et seq.), is amended as follows:
(a) Section 102 (D.C. Official Code § 2-1401.02) is amended as follows:
(1) Paragraph (27C) is redesignated as (27D).
(2) A new paragraph (27C) is added to read as follows:
"(27C) "Self-managed abortion product" means a medication that is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for use, either alone or in combination with other approved medication, in terminating a pregnancy, and that is made available to one or more pregnant individuals other than through the licensed operation of a health care provider or health care professional.".
(b) Section 105a (D.C. Law 23-90, effective May 6, 2020; D.C. Official Code § 2-1401.06) is repealed.
Title III. GENERAL PROVISIONS
Sec. 301. Fiscal impact statement.
The Council adopts the fiscal impact statement in the committee report as the fiscal impact statement required by section 4a of the General Legislative Procedures Act of 1975, approved October 16, 2006 (120 Stat. 2038; D.C. Official Code § 1-301.47a).
Sec. 302. Effective date.
This act shall take effect following approval by the Mayor (or in the event of veto by the Mayor, action by the Council to override the veto), a 30-day period of congressional review as provided in section 602(c)(1) of the District of Columbia Home Rule Act, approved December 24, 1973 (87 Stat. 813; D.C. Official Code § 1-206.02(c)(1)), and publication in the District of Columbia Register.