July 13, 2022

Whitehouse Introduces Legislation to Protect the Right of Women to Cross State Lines to Seek Abortion Care

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) today joined Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in introducing the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022.  The legislation would make crystal clear that it is illegal for anti-choice states to limit travel for abortion services and would empower the Attorney General and affected individuals to bring civil action against those who restrict a woman’s right to cross state lines to receive legal reproductive care.  The legislation would also protect health care providers in pro-choice states like Rhode Island from prosecution and lawsuits for serving individuals traveling from other states.

“After a radical Supreme Court shredded a longstanding constitutional right for women, we have to fight back to make sure women in anti-choice states do not also lose their ability to travel for abortion care.  Emboldened legislatures in red states are readying even more extreme restrictions, so Congress needs to act now to protect the freedom to cross state lines – a tenet of American life since the country’s founding,” said Whitehouse.  “It’s also extremely important that we step in to shield medical professionals in Rhode Island from punishment for providing care to women who travel here.”

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 legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), 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.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Ben Ray Lujan (D-N.M), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.).

Meaghan McCabe, (401) 453-5294

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Meaghan McCabe, (202) 224-2921