WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) reintroduced the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act, with Congresswomen Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), and more than 150 original co-sponsors. The legislation, which passed the House in the last Congress, protects the constitutional right to travel across state lines, including for reproductive health care, as states across the country have banned or limited abortion and are threatening to interfere with women’s ability to travel outside of their own states for abortion care.
“This bill reaffirms and protects the time-honored constitutional right to travel across state lines, including to obtain health care services,” said Congressman Jamie Raskin. “Extremist Republicans aren’t satisfied with simply banning abortion at the state level—they want to stop Americans from seeking an abortion anywhere. Our legislation protects patients who must cross state lines to obtain a safe and legal abortion, as well as anyone who helps them travel and their health care providers. Democrats will continue to reject efforts by extremists to dismantle this basic right of Americans to cross state lines and will never stop fighting for every American to have the freedom to make their own health care decisions.”
“My home state of Texas is in crisis, as are states across the country, where access to abortion has been effectively eliminated in almost all circumstances—including in cases of rape or incest,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher. “People in Texas who are able to do so have been travelling out of state to obtain abortion care. And now that fifteen other states have banned abortion, more people are traveling even further to get the reproductive health care they need. In response to this exercise of the constitutional right to travel, lawmakers and others in Texas—and in states across the country—are threatening to take away that right, too.
“We cannot let that happen in any state in the United States of America,” Congresswoman Fletcher continued. “To that end, I am glad to reintroduce the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act with Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, Congressman Jamie Raskin, and more than 150 of our colleagues as original co-sponsors. I look forward to continuing our vital work together to protect the health, privacy, dignity, and freedom of women and families across this country.”
“In 2022, we saw the Supreme Court end a woman's right to reproductive choice and states have followed suit with even greater attempts to limit women's reproductive health care. Impeding a woman's right to travel for care is an assault on her freedom,” said Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland. “This bill reaffirms that Constitutional right, and I am proud to stand with my colleagues as we stand up for what's just and right.”
If enacted, the bill would:
- Prohibit any person acting under color of state law from restricting or impeding:
- 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; and
- Any health care provider in providing or otherwise enabling lawful abortion services in that state.
- Empower the 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 in violation of this law to obtain declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys’ fees.
Last year, following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Rep. Raskin, along with Rep. Fletcher and Rep. Strickland, introduced the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act. One week later, it passed the House after receiving overwhelming support with more than 180 co-sponsors and endorsements from 13 organizations.
This year, the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act has received endorsements from NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, National Partnership for Women and Families, Center for Reproductive Rights, National Women's Law Center, Power to Decide, Physicians for Reproductive Health, National Council of Jewish Women, and URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity.
To view the full text of the bill, click here.