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A group of United States Senate Democrats unveiled a legislation Tuesday to protect a person’s ability to travel across states for reproductive care, including abortion and contraception.
Democratic senators Patty Murray (Washington) and Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada) introduced the bill titled ‘Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022’, which gives the U.S. Attorney General the ability to take civil action against states that try to enact or enforce laws restricting or penalizing travel for abortion.
Citing the 14th Amendment as well as prior Supreme Court rulings on interstate travel, the bill explicitly outlaws any attempts to “restrict or in any way sanction, hold liable, discriminate against, or otherwise disadvantage any individual from travelling to another State to receive or provide reproductive health care that is legal in that State.”
Simultaneously, the White House has moved to protect the ability to travel across state lines in order to receive reproductive services like abortions and several companies have also announced their intentions to cover the cost of travel for their employees who have to travel out-of-state to receive an abortion.
Companies including Amazon, Conde Nast, Disney, Meta and J.P. Morgan Chase have all stated their plans of covering travel costs for their employees seeking abortions, The Hill reported.
“Restricting women’s right to travel across state lines is truly radical and un-American. Our bill would protect Americans’ constitutional right to travel across state lines to get a lawful abortion and protect the providers who care for them. Even as Republicans go to the ends of the Earth to strip away our constitutional rights, Democrats are fighting back to protect them,” Murray said Tuesday.
Co-sponsors of the bill include Democratic Senators Chuck Schumer (New York), Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota), Dianne Feinstein (California), Raphael Warnock (Georgia), and independent senator Bernie Sanders (Vermont).
On June 24, 2022, the Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS) overturned the constitutional right granted to women in a historical 1973 ruling called Roe vs Wade.
At least nine states have banned abortion so far, including Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, West Virginia and Wisconsin. A dozen more states are expected to prohibit or restrict the procedure in the coming weeks.
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