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More than two dozen House Republicans proposed legislation this week that would prevent the federal government from spending any money to help women travel out of state to receive an abortion.
The bill has no chance of advancing under Democratic leadership. But it’s a clear sign of how the GOP will try to support the Supreme Court’s July decision that struck down Roe v. Wade by saying there is no constitutional right to an abortion and that states have the authority to establish their own abortion laws.
Immediately after that ruling, groups that support abortion and their Democratic allies started sketching out plans to fund out-of-state travel for women who, for example, are seeking an abortion 12 weeks into their pregnancy when their home state bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
Some companies have said they would pay women to travel out of state for an abortion, and a few House Democrats have proposed legislation setting up a federal grant that would help women offset the cost of this travel. “Access to safe and legal reproductive health care, including abortion, should not be limited to those with the resources to travel,” Rep. Marilyn Strickland, D-Wash., said in July.
The Republican legislation, introduced by Rep. Ralph Norman, R-S.C., aims to ensure that the federal government plays no role when it comes to funding abortion-related interstate travel.
Norman’s “No Federal Funds for Abortion Travel Expenses Act” says no federal funds can be used to support abortion services “through financial or logistical support for travel to another state.” The proposal in a sense is an extension of the Hyde Amendment that for years has prohibited direct federal funding of abortions outside of exceptions such as rape, incest or when carrying the fetus to term endangers the life of the mother.
Norman said his bill, which has 26 Republican cosponsors, is a rebuttal to Democratic attempts to create a federal funding mechanism for out-of-state travel.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that Senate Democrats and the Biden administration are doing everything they can to fund abortions in this post-Roe world,” Norman said in a statement to Fox News Digital.
“Using federal funds for this purpose is sickening, considering the Supreme Court recently made the issue of abortion up to the states,” he said. “Remember, many Democrats including our President used to be of the opinion that abortions should only happen in rare circumstances. My Republican colleagues and I will put our foot down every time the federal government attempts to step in on the matter of the right to life.”