The next battleground in abortion laws lies at the state level, and no issue will become hotter than whether states can punish women who travel out of state to get abortions. As a practical matter, because of a gradual series of laws making abortion impractical in states that choose not to allow it, women in many red states must travel to obtain abortions. This is in spite of the fact that theoretically, Roe v Wade remains the law of the land. The Casey decision opened the door to legal restrictions at the state level, and they have put abortion providers out of business in many red states.
For those convinced that abortion is murder, the issue is clear: of course, you can’t travel across state lines to murder your unborn child.
For those who view abortion as a legally protected right of the mother to do as she will with the early developing fetus, the issue is equally clear: how dare you turn America into a place where a person cannot cross a state line to exercise a constitutionally protected liberty?
We can expect over several years a series of court decisions that will return abortion to a front and center political issue. Regardless of how the Supreme Court ends up ruling on the issue of the right to travel, it will be fascinating to see how each side of the debate gets involved at the state political level. State legislative races where the chambers are close to switching from Red to Blue or vice versa will become recipients of large amounts of money and volunteers from other states.
Legally, the right to an abortion remains as tenuous as at any time since the Court issued Roe in 1973.
Read the article, “Missouri wants to stop out-of-state abortions. Other states could follow.” published on Politico, March 19, 2022.