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Pingree Backs Bill Protecting Travel for Abortion Care

This week, the U.S. House is expected to vote on The Ensuring Access to Abortion Act, which prohibits the punishment of any American traveling over state lines for reproductive health care

As Republican-controlled states across the country restrict abortion access following the fall of Roe v. Wade, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has cosponsored legislation to protect the right to travel for reproductive health care. Introduced by Representatives Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas), the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act (H.R. 8297), would uphold a woman’s constitutional right to travel in light of recent efforts by Republican lawmakers to prosecute anyone going out of state for abortion care.

“Immediately after this partisan Supreme Court overturned Roe, right-wing governors and Republican-controlled state legislatures enacted total bans and draconian laws to jail women for seeking abortion care,” said Pingree. “In Maine, we are seeing more out-of-state women who need abortion and I am grateful to Governor Mills for making it clear that no woman will be prosecuted for seeking reproductive care here. But extremists in the Republican party are trying to further erode our constitutional rights by pressing charges against women who travel to states where abortion is still accessible. I’m cosponsoring the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act because it will combat Republican efforts to completely abolish our right to privacy and punish women for making their own health care decisions.”

If enacted, the bill would: 

  • Prohibit any person acting under 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.
    • 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 a violation of this law to obtain declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys’ fees.

The U.S. House is expected to vote on H.R. 8297, the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act, on Friday. 

To view the full text of the bill, click here.

Click here to learn more about how Pingree is fighting to protect abortion access.



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