Jun 26, 2023 - News

How D.C. abortion care has changed one year after Dobbs decision

Estimated legal abortion rate in D.C.
Note: Includes abortions provided by clinics, private medical offices, hospitals, and virtual-only clinics. Months with less than 10 abortions are represented as 0. Data: #WeCount/Society of Family Planning; Chart: Kavya Beheraj and Jacque Schrag/Axios

One year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, more people are seeking abortions in D.C. as Congress threatens to limit access.

Why it matters: Washington is a hotspot for patients seeking abortion services both in and out of the region.

  • D.C. had the highest estimated legal abortion rate in the country between April 2022 and March 2023, according to data from the Society of Family Planning.
Data: #WeCount/Society of Family Planning. Chart: Kavya Beheraj and Jacque Schrag/Axios

Driving the news: House Republicans last week threatened to intervene via the budget process in D.C.'s abortion law.

  • Their proposed bill would prohibit any abortion funding via local or federal dollars.
  • It would also prevent D.C. from funding its Reproductive Health Nondiscrimination Act, which prevents employers from firing a worker who used birth control or had an abortion if they do not agree with that decision.

The bill will soon go to the full House Appropriations Committee for a vote.

By the numbers: The D.C. Abortion Fund, a group that provides grants to help pay for abortions in the D.C. area, told Axios that their donations have jumped since the high court's decision. The fund pledged $2.4 million to abortion seekers between June 2022 and June 2023. Nearly 3,800 called their hotline seeking funding.

  • That includes $1M so far this year, with just over half going toward patients from outside of the immediate area.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington tells Axios its clinics have provided 5,300 abortion procedures between May 2022 and March 2023.

What they're saying: "Within two weeks [of Roe v. Wade being overturned], Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. was seeing patients from Texas, Florida, and other states hundreds of miles away," PPMV president and CEO Laura Meyers told Axios via email.

What's ahead: Planned Parenthood says it intends to expand its services across the D.C. region in the next two years.


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