Menendez Joins Colleagues in Introducing Legislation to Protect the Right of Women to Cross State Lines to Seek Reproductive Health Care

WASHINGTON, DC – US Senator Bob Menendez (DN.J.) today joined a group of Democratic colleagues in introducing the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022. This legislation would make it crystal clear that it is illegal for anti-choice states to limit travel for reproductive health care services and would empower the Attorney General and affected individuals to bring civil action against those who restrict a woman’s right to cross state lines to receive such care.

“With women’s reproductive rights under a coordinated attack by Republicans across the country, we must do more to ensure that all women can continue to access a full range of reproductive health services, even if it is miles away from their home states,” said Sen. Menendez. “This is especially important following the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Dobbs, and it is why I am proud to support this legislation. As women in Republican-controlled states start to see their fundamental rights stripped away, Congress must reinforce their right to travel across state lines to access the care they need and to protect them from Republican legislators who are hell-bent on taking away a woman’s right to bodily autonomy.”

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 New Jersey from prosecution and lawsuits for serving individuals traveling from other states.

Sen. Menendez has been a longstanding advocate for protecting a woman’s right to access to a full range of reproductive health care services, and has repeatedly called for Congress to codify Roe into federal law by passing the Women’s Health Protection Act. Last month, he introduced the Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act that would crack down on false advertising related to abortion services by Crisis Pregnancy Centers. Late last year, he led over 100 Democrats in the Senate and House in the reintroduction of the Access to Birth Control Act, which would ensure patients seeking FDA-approved contraception, including emergency contraception and medication related to contraception, are able to access it in a timely manner and not be prevented from doing so by a pharmacy.

In addition to Sen. Menendez, the legislation is cosponsored by Sens. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Sheldon Whitehouse (DR.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Kirsten Gillibrand (DN.Y.) , Chuck Schumer (DN.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.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Jack Reed (DR.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.), Rev. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

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