July 12, 2022

Wyden, Colleagues Introduce Legislation to Protect the Right to Cross State Lines to Seek Abortion Care

Washington, D.C. –  U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today 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.”

Legislation introduced in Missouri and draft legislation proposed by anti-choice extremists 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. The legislation would also protect health care providers in pro-choice states from prosecution and lawsuits for serving individuals traveling from other states. 

This legislation was led by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). Along with Wyden, the legislation is cosponsored by Senators Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.).