Padilla Introduces Legislation to Protect the Right of Women to Cross State Lines to Seek Abortion Care￼
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) joined Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and a group of their Democratic colleagues in introducing the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022. This legislation would make it clear that it is illegal for anti-choice states to limit travel for abortion services and would empower the U.S. Attorney General and impacted individuals to bring civil action against those who restrict a person’s right to cross state lines to receive legal reproductive care.
“Access to an abortion is shamefully no longer a constitutionally protected right in the United States,” said Senator Padilla. “So long as that is the case, I will fight to ensure that every American is free to travel from anti-abortion states to states like California, where they can be in charge of their own reproductive health care decisions.”
“As women’s reproductive rights are attacked across the country, we must do everything we can to protect women who will be forced to cross state lines to receive abortion services,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This legislation would make it clear that anti-choice states can’t prosecute women who travel to another state for reproductive care, and it would also protect reproductive health care providers and others who help women travel for the care they need and deserve.”
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 like Nevada from prosecution and lawsuits for serving individuals traveling from other states.
In addition to Senators Padilla and Cortez Masto, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.), 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.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
Padilla is a champion for reproductive rights and is a cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would guarantee access and the right to provide abortion services in the United States. Padilla also successfully secured commitments from SafeGraph and Placer.ai, two data brokers, to permanently stop selling the location data of people who visit abortion clinics. This week, he also urged President Biden to prioritize health equity for people of color, and low-income, immigrant, and tribal communities in any executive actions to address the recent Dobbs decision. Padilla recently questioned witnesses on the impacts the decision will have on reproductive health equity and what the decision means for other constitutionally protected rights.
For full text of the bill, click here.