TX City Considers Travel Ban for Abortion

Abortion ban concept | Image by winnond/Shutterstock

The City of Amarillo is set to continue hearings regarding a proposed abortion travel ban and will consider the ordinance at a December 19 city council meeting.

The proposed ban follows a legal battle at the Texas Supreme Court, which ruled against a woman named Kate Cox, who was looking to terminate her pregnancy because the fetus was considered non-viable. She subsequently traveled out of state to get an abortion, per CNN.

Amarillo’s proposed ban would outlaw utilizing the city’s roads to transport a pregnant person for an abortion in another state. The ordinance seeks to allow litigation from a private party against anyone who “aids and abets” the abortion by transporting the pregnant woman.

Amarillo is a relatively short drive to New Mexico, where abortion procedures remain legal.

Planned Parenthood Texas Votes decried the potential ordinance as an effort by “anti-abortion extremists” in a statement released on X. “This law would allow anyone to sue someone they suspect of helping an abortion seeker drive through Amarillo to seek an out of state abortion.”

Despite the opposition, the director of Right to Life of East Texas, Mark Lee Dickson, told The Texas Tribune that he believed the ordinance would hold up in court.

“The abortion trafficking ordinances do not interfere with the right to travel. The ordinances only impose penalties on those who are using roads within the county to traffic pregnant mothers across state lines for the purpose of an abortion,” he said.

Amarillo would join four Texas counties in passing such an anti-abortion ordinance. Lubbock, Cochran, Mitchell, and Goliad Counties have already passed similar measures.

Similar laws in other states have attracted lawsuits from the U.S. Department of Justice, which claims that such ordinances interfere with the constitutional right to interstate travel.

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