Bill to Protect Interstate Abortion Travel Fails

The request for a unanimous vote in the Senate did not prevail. 

Senators Patty Murray of Washington, Kristen Gillibrand of New York, and Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada requested that the Senate issue a unanimous vote on legislation intended to protect interstate travel for women seeking an abortion where it is legal. Such a unanimous vote would require all senators in the chamber to approve the legislation. Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma was present and objected. 

“Does that child in the womb have the right to travel in their future?” Senator Lankford said in objecting. “Do they get to live? There’s a child in this conversation as well,” he added. 

The text of the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022 would interpret the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause to ensure that women seeking abortions can “travel freely and voluntarily among the several states.” The bill also attempts to protect providers who perform abortions for women who travel across state lines. 

On Thursday, senators in support of the bill cited efforts on the part of pro-life groups to draft legislation that would prohibit travel beyond state lines for an abortion, relying on the civil enforcement mechanism employed by Texas’s ban that gives private citizens the power to sue abortion providers. 

In his concurring opinion in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade, Justice Brett Kavanaugh ruled out bans on interstate travel, saying that it is a “constitutional right” to cross state lines. 

As the Lord Leads, Pray with Us…

  • For members of Congress to seek God’s guidance as they consider and vote on legislation.
  • For representatives in committees in the House as they deliberate and craft bills.
  • For senators to be conscious of the needs and issues of their constituents.

Sources: The Hill, Washington Examiner


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