Now that Congress has The bill failed to pass Guarantees the right to travel across state lines to obtain an abortion, many worry that conservative states that have begun restricting abortion rights may soon prevent people seeking abortions from leaving their home state for that purpose. Many Republican lawmakers already are Discussing This opportunity. But are such strict restrictions even possible—or, at least, legal?
Knowing that Congress won’t act on abortion rights before the November midterms, the Biden administration is scrambling to determine what the executive branch can do to protect abortion access on its own. President Joe Biden Signed An executive order earlier this month directed the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to expand access to abortion pills, protect patient privacy and more.
Following that executive order, the US Department of Justice Announced The establishment of a Reproductive Rights Task Force, which would “monitor and evaluate” efforts to ban abortion pills, prevent anyone from obtaining an abortion in a legal state, or punish federal employees who provide legal health care federally. It remains unclear how much the Justice Department can do to protect the right to travel across state lines for an abortion, and whether states can prohibit people from doing so.
When it comes to what the Justice Department can do if a state bans travel to get an abortion, it’s more likely to file a lawsuit against that state. Mary Ziegler, a law professor at UC Davis, said the agency would argue that such a ban is unconstitutional. (The DOJ itself did not respond to a request for comment.)
Justice Brett Kavanagh wrote In his concurring opinion Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health OrganizationIt is reversed Roe v. used, states may not prohibit people from traveling across state lines to obtain an abortion. That being said, Ziegler isn’t exactly convinced that the right to travel will be protected.
“What Kavanagh said was really unclear. It’s true that there’s a right to travel, but I don’t know how much that gets you,” Ziegler said. “Once there was a right to have an abortion, now it is not. When the court is talking about unenumerated rights, that can change. Even if you take Kavanagh at his word on this, it doesn’t answer all the questions.
The right to travel is generally protected by the Fourteenth Amendment, and it has been Justified Previously by the Supreme Court. However, the right to abortion was also considered a protected matter by the Fourteenth Amendment Roy Overturned.
Also Read: Russia’s internet censorship machine: Playstor; RuStore, Instagra; RuGram“I think there are efforts to try and deal with the right to travel—it’s uncharted territory in a lot of ways. There’s not a lot of precedent around the right to travel,” says Melissa Murray, a law professor at New York University.