Will women be able to travel to other states to have an abortion?

The battle for abortion rights is just getting started. States are split almost down the middle when it comes to access to abortion.
Published: Jun. 26, 2022 at 9:24 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The battle for abortion rights is just getting started. States are split almost down the middle when it comes to access to abortion.

A lot has been said about Roe v. Wade over the last couple of days by both political parties. But what happens next for women who want to get an abortion?

The New York Times says abortion is illegal or restricted in 21 states, including Kentucky. What’s stopping someone from simply going to a state that allows abortions?

As of right now, nothing. But that might not be the case in the future.

Pro-choice advocates at a rally in downtown Louisville promised to help women in Kentucky who want to get an abortion, including offers to drive women across state lines to get the procedure.

But are restrictions coming?

Paul Schiff Berman, a law professor at George Washington University, says there could be.

“I think we will see an increased schism between those states that want to clamp down on all abortion rights, and those states that see themselves as sanctuaries for those who are seeking an abortion.”

However, the 14th amendment gives citizens the right to travel between states, and the Supreme Court’s ruling doesn’t prevent women from going to a state that allows abortions.

“If any state or local official high or low tries to interfere with a woman exercising her basic right to travel, I will do everything in my power to fight that deeply unamerican attack,” President Biden said on Friday.

Abortion is legal in Indiana up to 20 weeks, so for now Kentucky women can still cross the river to get an abortion. But that may change, because Governor Holcomb will ask Indiana lawmakers to look at the state’s abortion law during a special session on July 6th.

Kentucky’s trigger law on Abortion -- called the Human Life Protection Act -- went into effect Friday. Abortion providers who violate the terms of the law are liable under the law, but women who receive abortions aren’t.

The only way a woman can get an abortion in Kentucky is if the pregnancy puts her life in danger. Governor Andy Beshear and Attorney General Daniel Cameron disagree on the state’s trigger law.

“There can be strong opinions on something like this, but the trigger law that the general assembly passed goes way too far. It is an extremist law and I think almost every Kentuckian would agree that especially victims of violent crime, rape and incest, deserve options,” Beshear said.

“We must continue to advance and advocate for legislation that stands up for the babies who cannot stand up for themselves. We must commit to defending and implementing those laws. I for one will do my part in this role as attorney general,” Cameron said.

President Biden said his administration will do what it can to help women have access to abortion services and contraceptives. Ultimately the power of guaranteeing a federal law to make abortion legal has to come from Congress.

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