Hirono, colleagues reintroduce legislation to protect right of women to cross state lines to seek abortion care
U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has joined 35 of her Senate colleagues in reintroducing the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act.
This legislation, led by senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Patty Murray (D-WA), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), would block anti-choice states from limiting travel for abortion services and empower the Attorney General and impacted individuals to bring civil action against those who restrict a woman’s right to cross state lines to receive legal reproductive care.
“One year after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Republicans’ obsession with outlawing abortion nationwide and exerting control over our bodies and our lives has only grown,” said Senator Hirono. “As if restricting access to fundamental reproductive care wasn’t enough, these extremists are also working to prosecute women who travel to receive abortion care in states where it remains legal—such as Hawai‘i—as well as the health care providers who perform these services.”
This April, Idaho became the first state to criminalize assisting with out-of-state travel for some seeking abortions. Anti-choice politicians in states like Tennessee, Texas, and Missouri are also trying to punish both women for leaving their state for reproductive care and the doctors and employers who help them.
The Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act 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, like Hawai‘i, from prosecution and lawsuits for serving individuals traveling from other states.
In addition to Senators Hirono, Cortez Masto, Whitehouse, Murray, and Gillibrand, the legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Ed Markey (D-MA), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Tina Smith (D-MN), Tom Carper (D-DE), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Mark Warner (D-VA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), John Fetterman (D-PA), Peter Welch (D-VT), Jacky Rosen (D-NV) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN).
This legislation is endorsed by NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Women’s Law Center, Center for Reproductive Rights, Physicians for Reproductive Health, National Partnership for Women & Families, Catholics for Choice, Power to Decide, National Council of Jewish Women, and the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association.