If Signed into Law, This Bill Would Push Back Against Lawmakers Threatening to Strip a Woman’s Right to Voluntarily Travel to Seek an Abortion
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A majority of the U.S. House of Representatives today voted to pass Spanberger-cosponsored legislation to defend the right of Americans to travel across state lines to seek lawful abortions.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, it has been reported that anti-abortion lawmakers and third-party groups are crafting legislation in some states that would allow private citizens to sue anyone who helps a resident of a state that has banned abortion to terminate a pregnancy outside of that state.
Following these reports, Spanberger backed the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act — also known as the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act — which would protect American women from being criminalized for interstate travel to obtain reproductive healthcare.
“Fundamentally, this legislation aims to protect the right of Americans to interstate travel,” said Spanberger. “Just as we have seen states significantly restrict or ban access to abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, state lawmakers are actively working to restrict their residents from traveling to seek lawful reproductive care — an absolute overstep of a state’s jurisdiction over the laws that apply within its own borders. Congress has both the written power and responsibility to protect the right to interstate travel, and I am proud we took this step today to protect the right of American women to travel freely from one state to another without facing criminal penalties.”
The Ensuring Access to Abortion Act is led in the U.S. House by U.S. Representatives Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-07), Marilyn Strickland (D-WA-10), and Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08).
Specifically, if signed into law, the Spanberger-backed bill would:
- Prohibit the restricting of:
- A person’s constitutional right to travel across state lines for the purpose of obtaining a lawful abortion.
- A person or entity’s ability to assist an individual in traveling across state lines for the purpose of obtaining a lawful abortion.
- Any healthcare provider in providing or otherwise enabling abortion services that are lawful in that state.
- Empower the U.S. Attorney General to bring a civil action for declaratory and injunctive relief against any person who is in violation of this law.
- Create a private right of action for any person harmed by a violation of this law to obtain declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys’ fees.
Click here to read the full bill text.