Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson added to the rhetoric after the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade (by a 5-4 vote last week), claiming that a ban on interstate travel for abortion-related purposes "harkens back to slavery" in America.
While appearing on "MSNBC Reports" on Monday, Johnson speculated that a travel ban for abortions could be the next move among conservative-leaning legislators.
"We are greatly appreciative of the White House and the [Biden] administration doing as much as they can in every agency to be as creative as possible to get people the care they need and get people to care," Johnson said. "We have seen such extreme laws being introduced in states like Missouri and Louisiana, criminalizing not just tele-medication abortion, but also things like contraception, IUDs, perhaps [in vitro fertilizations], and that idea you couldn't travel across your own state boundary is just such a bizarre construct, right?
"It just, obviously, harkens back to slavery. So, we are incredibly concerned about what might happen, and to have the White House and the administration thinking about all of the ways to get care to people is so important."
Johnson added: "We will continue to fight state by state through litigation, through some of these trigger laws, through proactive legislation, through ballot initiatives. This is now about direct democracy in each state that is actively trying to overturn our right to abortion in those states. That's essentially when you lose the federal protection of the Constitution, you have to fight your way back in state by state, and that is what our intent is, to make sure that no one can stay neutral on this.
"No politician, no corporation. Everyone has to weigh in here. Because we believe, as you just demonstrated, the majority of people support having access to abortion being the law of the land, certainly the law in their states, and we are going to fight to make that the case."
Johnson's comments likely stem from a number of corporations pledging to cover travel costs for pregnant women employees who seek an abortion, but also live in a state where the procedures are banned — minus exceptions involving cases of rape, incest, or the mother's health being at severe risk.
However, Johnson's speculation doesn't consider a concurring opinion from the Supreme Court's Friday ruling (Dobbs vs. Jackson Women's Health Organization), with Justice Brett Kavanaugh saying a woman's right to travel out of state, for abortion-related purposes, would be protected under the U.S. Constitution.
It also hasn't stopped other pro-choice pundits from suggesting that abortion-related travel bans are inevitable in the U.S.
"It's hard to tell at this point, but I think it's likely that [the prosecutors] will go after the people that help the woman get the abortion," Drexel University law professor David Cohen told the New York Times, in a report examining the legality of getting abortions out of state.
Thirteen states currently have existing "trigger laws" on the books, regarding abortion bans being activated after SCOTUS overturning Roe.
Five states have abortion bans predating the 1973 Roe decision.
And a number of states have restrictions which don't ban abortion outright, but also go further than what the Roe v. Wade standard previously allowed.
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