US Senate Republicans blocks bill to protect interstate travel for abortions

Posted at 5:04 PM, Jul 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-14 19:31:25-04

DENVER – On Thursday, U. S. Senate Republicans objected to taking up a bill that would have protected women who traveled to other states for abortions from prosecution.

During a speech advocating for the bill, Sen. John Hickenlooper, D-Colorado, told a story about a woman from Texas named Ann who was four-and-a-half months pregnant when her water broke.

“The doctors recommended terminating her pregnancy to protect her life… but it wasn’t allowed in Texas so she flew to Colorado for emergency care,” Hickenlooper said. “Her doctor had her make a plan for this travel — make a plan — in case she went into labor on the flight. The plan was to sit near the bathroom.”

Abortion doctors throughout Colorado are seeing a lot of “Anna’s."

“We're seeing a big influx from out of state, primarily Texas and Oklahoma,” said Dr. Kelly Peters, a medical director and abortion provider at Boulder Valley Women's Health Center.

Peters said, quite often, pregnant women from out-of-state have to find their own transportation.

“We've had women who take the bus from the airport, we had a woman who stayed overnight at a hotel and took one of the little motorized scooters,” Peters said.

The Biden administration recently said federal law requires hospitals to provide abortion services if a mother’s life is at risk, even in states with abortion bans in place.

While leaders from those states fight against the Biden administration, many doctors in abortion ban states have reported being confused about what they can and can’t do.

In Colorado, Peters said Cobalt, a reproductive health organization, is helping patients and doctors find open appointments.

“Cobalt is putting a list together of abortion providers in Colorado so we can actually reach out to each other and call each other on the cell phone or call each other on the back line and say, 'Hey, we've got a patient in this situation, can you help?'” Peters said.

Back in June, two Colorado lawmakers announced plans to create a bill that would create more legal protections for abortion services providers.