(CTN News) – the United States Department of Justice and a federal judge ruled that states are overreaching in their efforts to prohibit individuals from assisting others in obtaining abortions outside of their jurisdiction.
Though far from final, a decision in Idaho and a federal government side in an Alabama case may provide hints as to whether or not a new area of abortion regulation will eventually hold up in court.
When the United States Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade last year, making abortion illegal across the country, the majority of states whose legislatures are controlled by Republicans have passed laws restricting or outright banning the procedure.
While this is happening, the majority of blue states have done something to safeguard access, and Republican states have done the same when voters have had a direct voice, such as Ohio, which just codified abortion rights in its constitution.
Because of this, there is now a significant policy divide across the states, and access to abortion via travel is a considerable problem.
Although the number of abortions dropped to almost nothing in the fourteen states that outright ban them during pregnancy, a national poll indicated that the average monthly number of abortions had increased marginally after the Dobbs verdict.
According to Melissa Murray, a law professor at New York University, the courts’ approaches to the cases are unclear. “People have the freedom to travel,” Murray remarked. “It’s unclear that individuals possess the authority to travel when assisting another individual in leaving the state for an abortion in another location.”