Sign of desperation: Making it illegal to drive on roads to get abortions

Women still find ways to get help, support reproductive rights

Vanessa Gallman
3 min readSep 26, 2023


Photo by Gabriel Tovar on Unsplash

Anti-abortionists are getting so frustrated that some are pushing cities and counties — at least 50 in Texas alone — to vote to prosecute those who drive women to states that allow reproductive rights.

That state’s six-week abortion ban allows any citizen to sue a person or organization that aids a woman. An organization, Sanctuary City for the Unborn, has been campaigning for local restrictions even in states with extreme abortion bans.

Even if someone is charged with these local travel bans, the laws would most likely be ruled unconstitutional — a violation of the 14th Amendment’s “right to travel” doctrine that allows citizens to move freely between states. Idaho is being sued over a law making it illegal to drive minors out of state without parental consent.

Yet, the community debate generated by these laws often frighten women who may seek abortions into believing their supporters could be sued for driving them. A leading activist described it as “building a wall to stop abortion trafficking.”

There has been some recent pushback to this crusade. The city of Chandler this month rejected the law, saying monitoring the roads was going too far. It’s a reflection of a growing conflict within the anti-abortion movement. Abortion-rights has won at the ballot boxes in seven states — even conservative ones — that have taken up the issue. And political analysts predict it will continue to be an election priority for suburban women.

Consider the dramatic change in priorities by former president Donald Trump. He has often bragged about his appointment of three conservative justices who were key to ending federal abortion rights. And in an interview, he said women who have abortions should be punished.

Yet recently, he has strongly chastised GOP lawmakers about supporting six-week…



Vanessa Gallman

Experienced journalist, educator and retired opinion-page editor with occasional musings