Press Releases

Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, and Congresswoman Cori Bush Reintroduce Bill To Assist Travel for Abortion Care

Bicameral effort comes as we approach one year anniversary of Dobbs v. Women’s Health Organization decision overturning Roe v. Wade

Today, Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), and Congresswoman Cori Bush (MO-01) reintroduced the Reproductive Health Travel Fund Act to establish a grant program to help ease the financial burden of women and families being forced to travel, sometimes long distances, to access abortion care.  The reintroduction comes as abortion is now banned in 16 states and as threats to reproductive care continue to increase.  Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) also introduced this legislation in the U.S. Senate today.  

“Women and families in Texas and states across our country where abortion has been banned are in crisis,” said Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher.  “One way to help people and organizations respond to this crisis is to authorize grants to eligible entities to pay for travel-related expenses and logistical support for women seeking abortion care in states where it is legal.  I am glad to partner with Congresswoman Strickland, Congresswoman Bush, Senator Murray, and Senator Baldwin in this effort to ensure that Americans can get the reproductive care they need no matter where they live.”

“One year ago, the Supreme Court ripped the promise of equitable access to reproductive medical care away from millions of Americans, and MAGA extremists have spent every day since then trying to enact a national abortion ban,” sai Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland.  “Access to safe and legal reproductive health care, including abortion, should be accessible to everyone, but care is too often out of reach for low-income families and women of color across the country.  The Reproductive Health Travel Fund Act fulfills our responsibility to guarantee reproductive freedom for all women regardless of where they live.”

“In the year since the far-right Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, 14 states including Missouri have banned abortion care, sometimes forcing residents in our states to travel hundreds of miles to get to the nearest available clinic. Too often our community members have had to scrape together hundreds to thousands of dollars just to pay for travel expenses or have had to forgo care altogether,” said Congresswoman Cori Bush. “I’m glad to join Representatives Strickland and Fletcher in re-introducing the Reproductive Health Travel Act to remove financial barriers for those in need of abortion care. Our bill would help protect reproductive freedom by making investments in wrap-around services like travel, lodging, translation services and childcare, and it would help the millions of people nationwide in need of this lifesaving medical care.”

“In overturning Roe and passing one extreme state abortion ban after the next, Republicans have unleashed a full-fledged health care crisis that is jeopardizing women’s health and forcing them to stay pregnant against their will.  I’m proud to introduce this legislation with Senator Baldwin to help ease the financial burden on vulnerable women who are being forced to travel across state lines to access the health care they need,” said Senator Patty Murray.  “Every woman deserves to have control over her own body and be able to get the care she needs—no matter what state she lives in—and that’s what this bill will help deliver.”

“Right now, in states across the country, millions of Americans are unable to make their own health care decisions,” said Senator Tammy Baldwin. “Women in states like Wisconsin are being forced to travel out of state just to see a doctor for critical health care, including abortion. And for too many, the cost of travel, child care, overnight housing, and time away from work puts safe, comprehensive reproductive care totally out of reach. By reducing the costs of travel for people seeking reproductive care, more Americans will have the freedom to make the health care decisions that are best for their family, health, and future.”

The Reproductive Health Travel Fund Act would help cover roundtrip travel to the location where the abortion is provided, lodging, meals, childcare, patient education, translational services, doula care, and lost wages.  Eligible entities under this program include abortion funds, practical support organizations, and other community-based organizations.

Congresswoman Fletcher is a leader in the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and has led several efforts to protect access to abortion.  In response to a lawsuit seeking to ban medication abortion across the country, she introduced the Protecting Reproductive Freedom Act, H.R. 2573, with Congressman Pat Ryan (NY-18) to reaffirm that the abortion pill was appropriately approved by the FDA.  Last month, she met with Vice President Harris and Pro-Choice Caucus leaders to discuss ways to preserve, protect, and restore reproductive rights across the U.S.   

She is the lead House sponsor of a bill to protect the right to travel between states to obtain an abortion, the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act, H.R. 782, which passed the House in the last Congress, and which she reintroduced this year.  She has also introduced legislation challenging the bounty system created in Texas Senate Bill 8.  Congresswoman Fletcher was an original cosponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act, H.R. 12, which establishes a statutory federal right to abortion free from medically unnecessary restrictions.

To read the full text of the Reproductive Health Travel Fund Act, click here.