Abortionists Capitalize on Prop 1 in California
How D.C.’s DuPont Clinic stands to gain clients by pushing the late term abortion debate.
Pink lights lit up the Beverly Hills, California city hall on the June night Roe v. Wade was overturned. The wealthy Los Angeles suburb had already issued a unanimous resolution in support of abortion access in May, when a draft of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization was leaked. Lili Bosse, the Beverly Hills mayor at the time, said of the pro-abortion resolution, “This is something I wholeheartedly support with all my soul.”
It was only a few months later that the state of California passed Proposal 1, a ballot measure that purported to add a legal right to abortion, on demand with no restrictions, to the state’s constitution. As some speculated at the time, the amendment would almost certainly sanction late term abortions, the practice of killing an unborn child after the second trimester of pregnancy until as late as 32 weeks of gestation. While 20 years of California statute affirms a viable child—approximately 24 weeks old—may not be killed unless the life of the mother is at risk, Proposal 1 will upend that.
The planned opening of a late-term abortion clinic in California last summer has pressed the issue to a point. DuPont Clinic, which specializes in late term abortions, planned to open a new facility on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills last summer. On its website at the time, DuPont described its “model of all trimester care” thus: “If you are farther than 26 weeks into your pregnancy, we can still see you, regardless of your medical history, background, or fetal indications. We do not require any particular ‘reason’ to be seen here—if you would like to terminate your pregnancy, we support you in that decision.” The clinic performs its proprietary “DuPont Induction-Evacuation” on unborn children as late as 31 weeks and 6 days old.
Late term abortions remain unpopular nationally, even among abortion supporters. They supposedly comprise barely 1 percent of all abortions in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, though the real number is likely higher, as a handful of states do not report this data. Taking the life of a 20-something week old child, fortunately, still feels wrong to most of our society in a way taking the life of a 6 week old apparently does not. This pre-rational inclination has long acted as a safeguard: Whether because they know the child may survive outside the womb at that age, or because they know the American public is not ready to take the lives of unborn children capable of feeling pain, most abortion proponents have continued to call the practice of late term abortion wrong, or at least inappropriate in the majority of cases.
Accordingly, when it came time for the Beverly Hills City Council to permit DuPont’s radical clinic into its community, the city declined. After hearing from pro-life groups in the area, the mayor deferred to statutory law regarding elective late term abortions, calling into question the legality of DuPont’s planned clinic. In response, DuPont is suing the mayor and several city officials for intentional lease-breaching and “false promises.”
At first blush, this seems foolish. Surely DuPont could compromise on late term abortions and still make a dime on the West Coast. How much of a difference to their bottom line could 1 percent of women really be making? Apparently, quite a bit.
Only 13 clinics nationally perform abortions beyond 24 weeks of pregnancy, according to the Los Angeles Times. Of these, only three perform abortions past 28 weeks, making DuPont a prime destination for a very particular clientele. Because of this niche, providers can charge a premium: While the median price of an early abortion in the U.S. is somewhere between $500 and $600, the median price of a late term abortion is just under $800, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation study in 2021. On the West Coast, that median price is even higher, resting at a cool $926.
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Additionally, as the total number of abortions has continued to rise even after Dobbs, abortion tourism has also increased. As DuPont notes in its complaint to the City of Beverly Hills, its Washington clinic regularly serves patients from across the country who have flown to the nation’s capital for an abortion when most other states would not take the life of their viable unborn child. “DuPont felt that it was even more important to open a second location as abortion rights were about to be curtailed across the country in response to the Dobbs decision,” DuPont wrote in its complaint. “As patients faced barriers in care and limited access in their home states, they would require DuPont’s services in haven states more than before the Supreme Court decision.”
In other words, business is booming.
Businesses don’t often go to bat for ideas, but they do go to bat for market share. What’s really at stake here is not merely an effort to prompt California to drop its last remaining abortion restrictions, but also an effort to create the public impression that late term abortions are normal, acceptable, and even medically necessary. DuPont is consciously pushing the Overton window on late term abortions, and why wouldn’t they? It only stands to benefit the company’s bottom line.