Bill Introduced to Protect the Right to Cross State Lines to Seek Abortion

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U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden on Tuesday with colleagues introduced legislation to ensure that anti-choice states cannot limit interstate travel for abortion services.

The Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act would empower the attorney general and impacted individuals to bring civil action against those who restrict the right to cross state lines to receive legal reproductive care.

“I am proud that Oregon is a sanctuary for women who need health care services including abortion,” Wyden said. “The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, tossing out a half century of legal precedent, has empowered radical attempts at the state and local level to stop Americans from traveling freely to states where they can get a safe, legal abortion. But we won’t let them. So while it is an injustice that Americans in states like Idaho will be deprived of the right to make fundamental decisions about their own body, this legislation will ensure the right to travel to receive a legal abortion in Oregon or other pro-choice states without fear.”

Wyden said legislation introduced in Missouri and draft legislation proposed by pro-life supporters make clear that interstate travel for reproductive health care is under attack. The Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022 underscores the Constitutional protections for interstate travel and provides redress for women whose rights are violated, said Wyden. The legislation would also protect health care providers in pro-choice states from prosecution and lawsuits for serving individuals traveling from other states.