Senate Republicans Won't Let Gals Go Gallivanting All Over USA Abortin' Babies
Senate Republicans yesterday blocked a bill that would have protected the right of Americans to travel from states where abortion is banned to states where it remains legal. The Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act, sponsored by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada), would have prohibited individuals or government officials from preventing or punishing travel across state lines "to receive or provide reproductive health care that is legal in that State," and would also made it illegal for states to pass laws prohibiting travel outside their state to get an abortion. The proposal seems particularly apt this week as we've seen how necessary interstate access to legal abortion is for residents of abortion-restricting states.
Haha, remember when we never gave any serious consideration to the idea that states could restrict our travel around the country for any reason? (Oh shut up, mask mandates on airlines aren't anything like that.) Maybe we'll all have to get travel permits, too, so we won't break any other laws. No more traveling to Oregon or Washington for weed, although bringing that stuff across state lines is already illegal.
Cortez Masto had argued that the bill was necessary to make sure anti-abortion Republican state legislatures can't "reach across state lines to control not just what happens in their states, but what happens in every state across this country, and to punish women for exercising their fundamental rights."
OK, but having an abortion is no longer a right, which means that other rights that might relate to abortion are also suspect, like the freedom of travel, or maybe abusing your First Amendment rights by publishing information on abortion, too.
Among those objecting to the bill was Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana), who explained that guaranteeing the right to interstate travel, none of your business why, was "very, very extreme," and would even allow guerilla abortion attacks on peaceful residents of red states. Behold his logic and despair!
“This bill would give fly-in abortionists free rein to commit abortions on demand up to the moment of birth,” Daines said. “This bill also protects the greed, frankly, of woke corporations who see it’s cheaper to pay for an abortion, an abortion tourism, than maternity leave for their employees.”
We really would like to know more about these "fly-in abortions," which we presume would involve picking up patients and then whisking them elsewhere for the procedure, which would remain illegal on the ground. I suppose providers could try distributing abortion medications to passengers once they're airborne but you just know Texas would send the Air National Guard to shoot down the planes.
After the bill was blocked, Sen. Patty Murray (D-Washington), a co-sponsor of the bill, tweeted that Republicans appear to be dead set on turning states into individual Republics of Gilead, complete with border guards, and on "trying to hold women captive in their own states rather than defending the right to travel within our country." In a statement, Murray added,
It's disgraceful that anyone would object to making sure people can travel to other states for reproductive healthcare," she added in a statement. "It's morally repugnant. By objecting to this bill, Republicans are rejecting any appearance of fighting for people's rights, and embracing all-out oppression of women like never before."
But gosh, don't these ladies understand? Once their rights have been democratically removed by their elected representatives, they should have no expectation of going elsewhere where women do have rights, because that would turn them into foreigners.
Besides, as Sen. James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) made clear in a press release that also invoked the specter of "abortion tourism," Democrats are simultaneously raising unnecessary fears, since "Currently, no state has banned interstate travel for adult women seeking to obtain an abortion," but also, it's very important to make sure that once a state has declared women to be baby containers, women can't go thinking they can make decisions about their shipping options:
The conversation today is not just about women. There are two people in this conversation—a child with ten fingers and ten toes and a beating heart [...] This is a child in this conversation as well. [...]
Does that child in the womb have the right to travel in their future?
So remember, there's no need to worry about states banning travel for abortion, although if travel for abortion isn't banned, then we'll have an "abortion tourism" industry and also, he said, there probably should be some laws to "protect individuals that are being trafficked to go to other states to get an abortion," which is certainly a very real concern, don't you see?
In conclusion, at least the House will be passing its version of the bill today, sponsored by Rep. Lizzie Fletcher (D-Texas), for all the good it will do. As NBC News points out, it seems unlikely there are 10 votes for it in the Senate, even with libertarians like Rand Paul, who told NBC that "No state has the right to prohibit travel" — although that might just as well be an excuse to oppose the bill, since after all, the right to travel means any such bill would be superfluous.
In conclusion, we think somebody should get to work on an Abortion Dirigible soon.
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Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.