Sen. James Lankford, (R-Okla.), on Thursday blocked the bill that Democrats had proposed to stop pro-life states restricting interstate women’s access to abortion.
Democrats proposed the “Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022” (pdf) legislation in response to, in some cases, the introduction of bills in some state legislatures, and in other cases, some draft bills proposed to lawmakers by special interest groups.
Lankford’s office stated in an release that Democrats’ bill encouraged traveling across state borders to get an abortion. Lankford refuted some claims made by Democrats while standing up against the bill.
” To be clear, no state has prohibited interstate travel by adult women who are seeking an abortion. Lankford stated on the U.S. floor . Senate.
Lankford called it “misinformation”, and stated that it was yet another attempt to “inflame” the public and bring up “the what-ifs .”
In introducing the bill to Senate, Democrats cited reports from the Washington Post concerning Republican state legislators who pursue bills to limit interstate travel by women to obtain abortions.
Lankford dismissed these concerns and noted that thousands of bills were filed in the Senate. “And how many are actually going to go through?” he inquired.
” Now, do I feel confident that there are people out there speaking? He said yes, adding that these measures would help protect women being trafficked.
“There’s a lot of discussion about legislation that could protect people who are trafficked to take an abortion in another state or any other issue that is there. But, he stated, “But there is still a child involved in this conversation. Maybe this body should also pay attention to them and wonder how their future might be to travel in days to come.”
” I look forward to the time when we talk more about this little girl than misinformation. He said, “I object.”
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) said that the bills and draft bills proposed by state legislators in certain states were “blatantly unconstitutional.”
“Today’s Republicans have blocked crucial legislation that protects women who need critical medical care,” Cortez stated in an . statement. They’re giving state legislators the power to cross state boundaries to regulate not only what happens within their state, but also what happens across the country, and punishing women who exercise their fundamental rights. This is absolutely absurd. I will not stop fighting for the freedom of women .”
Democrats pointed out reports from the Washington Post that states lawmakers and conservative legal organizations are “drafting legislation banning travel for abortion .”
Although there is no law banning abortion travel, Democratic senators attempted to amend it.
Sen. Patty Murray (D.Wash.), echoed Masto’s sentiments and accused Republican legislators of “removing the right to travel” for women.
“Let us be clear: They want women to be held captive in their states. Murray stated that they want to punish women and anyone else who may help them for exercising their constitutional rights to travel in our country to receive the services needed in another state.
Masto introduced the bill along with Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, Kirsten Gillibrand (D.I.) and several Democratic coworkers introduced the bill.