Washington, D.C. – Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet joined his Democratic colleagues in introducing the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act. This legislation would clarify that it is illegal for anti-choice states to limit travel for reproductive health care, including abortion services, and would empower the U.S. Attorney General and impacted individuals to bring civil action against those who restrict the right to cross state lines to receive legal reproductive care.
“Following the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs, millions of Americans will be forced to cross state lines to access the reproductive care they need,” said Bennet. “This legislation will protect women who go out of state for reproductive care from prosecution, along with the providers who support them.”
Legislation introduced in Missouri and draft legislation proposed modeling the Texas abortion ban demonstrate that interstate travel for reproductive health care is under attack. The Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act underscores the Constitutional protections for interstate travel and provides redress for individuals whose rights are violated. The legislation would also protect health care providers in pro-choice states like Colorado from prosecution and lawsuits for serving individuals traveling from other states.
In addition to Bennet, this legislation is co-sponsored by U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Patty Murray (D-Wash), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Kirsten Gillibrand, (D-N.Y.), Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), 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.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), 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.).Bennet and Cortez Masto recently called on the Biden Administration to update the Privacy Rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to protect the privacy of patients who receive abortions from law enforcement agencies. Last month, Bennet joined his colleagues in urging the Department of Defense (DoD) to take immediate steps to support and protect servicemembers seeking abortion services following the Supreme Court’s dangerous and deeply harmful decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Bennet also joined his colleagues to push President Joe Biden to pursue “bold action” to protect the right to abortion after the conservative wing of the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and Republicans made this generation of women the first with fewer rights than their mothers.