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Can Women Be Banned From Traveling to Other States to Get Abortion Access?

There are currently no abortion bans that attempt to prosecute women who cross state lines to seek an abortion.

However, states could try in the future, said David Cohen, a law professor at Drexel University. “There is no guarantee that an aggressive prosecutor might try to stretch the law as much as they can.”

In his concurring decision, Justice Brett Kavanaugh suggested that women who travel to neighboring states to receive an abortion would be protected by the constitutional right to interstate travel.

People who assist a woman seeking an abortion in a neighboring state could also be at risk of prosecution.

“It’s hard to tell at this point, but I think it’s likely that [the prosecutors] will go after the people that help the woman get the abortion,” he said. “The person who drives them, the doctor who sees them.”

Both Texas and Oklahoma recently passed abortion bans that allow private citizens to sue people who perform abortions or who otherwise help someone get one.

Many organizations are still encouraging patients who cannot seek an abortion in their home state to travel across state lines to receive care, including a handful of companies that have pledged to cover travel expenses for employees who need abortions.

“People should travel, people should get care wherever they can,” said Mr. Cohen. “But it’s not a simple answer.”

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