[HARTFORD, CT] – U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy (D-CT) today announced they are co-sponsoring the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022 which will protect the rights of Americans to cross state lines to receive abortion care.
The legislation was introduced by Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) and will make it clear that it is illegal for anti-choice states to limit travel for abortion services. The legislation would also empower the U.S. Attorney General and impacted individuals to bring civil action against those who restrict a woman’s right to cross state lines to receive reproductive care.
“Although Connecticut is at the forefront of protecting women who cross state lines to seek reproductive care, this legislation is vital to safeguard patients and providers who travel for this service. It would protect women against the most retaliatory and punitive laws now being implemented in states reacting to the Dobbs decision,” Blumenthal said. “The Supreme Court’s decision is already impacting people in every state and we need to do all we can and use every tool at our disposable to make reproductive health care safe and more accessible for all.”
“No woman should become a criminal because they choose to travel to Connecticut. As Republicans and their partners on the Supreme Court work overtime to gut reproductive freedom, states like Connecticut have stepped up to proactively protect every woman’s right to an abortion. Now, Republican legislatures are coming after this lifeline, attempting to pass legislation that would restrict the right to travel across state lines for care. We need to use every tool in our toolbox to defend reproductive freedom, and this legislation will protect women who travel to Connecticut and other states to get the care they need,” said Murphy.
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 providing reproductive health care services to individuals traveling from other states.
In addition to Senators Blumenthal, Murphy, Cortez Masto, Whitehouse, Murray, and Gillibrand, the legislation is also cosponsored by Senators Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), 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.), 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.).