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Pallone Floor Statement on the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act

Jul 15, 2022
Press Release

Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) delivered the following statement on the House Floor today during consideration of H.R. 8297, the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act:

Madam Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 8297, the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act, introduced by Representative Fletcher. 

Last month, when the Supreme Court overturned a woman’s constitutional right to abortion, it also gave license to extreme Republican politicians to pass dangerous laws across the nation. These state laws criminalize health care and create an environment of fear for health care providers or anyone else assisting someone who needs an abortion. 

Already, abortion bans are in effect in nine states, and more are expected soon. 

Republican politicians and antiabortion extremists are also actively considering even more actions. They want to prevent private citizens from legally crossing state lines to obtain an abortion. They also want to deputize private citizens to track down anyone who might help a woman legally obtain an abortion in another state. 

These actions clearly violate the Constitution and the right to travel freely, and this legislation will put those states on notice that their actions to limit their citizens from obtaining the health care they need cannot be enforced. 

H.R. 8297 reaffirms the right to travel across state lines to obtain a lawful abortion. It protects health care providers who provide lawful abortion care to out-of-state residents. And it protects anyone who may assist a woman in crossing state lines to obtain a lawful abortion, such as a friend, partner, or volunteer. 

The bill also prohibits individuals acting under state law from restricting or impeding access to medication abortion, which states are rushing to restrict despite the clear authority of the federal government. 

Madam Speaker, while we need the Women’s Health Protection Act to become law to restore access to abortion in all 50 states, we must also mitigate some of the extreme and dangerous laws Republicans are enacting now to prevent women from making their own health care decisions. This legislation does that, which is why I urge my colleagues to support this important legislation. And I reserve the balance of my time.