Across the skyline of the City of Amarillo, Texas, signs about abortion trafficking cannot be ignored. A multitude of red signs with bold white letters reads, “Prohibit Abortion Trafficking” while other green signs with bold white letters read, “Thwart Biden – Prohibit Abortion Trafficking” and “Stop Soros – Prohibit Abortion Trafficking.” These messages exist as part of a campaign to raise awareness about the problem of abortion trafficking in the City of Amarillo – and the possibility for the city’s leaders to do something about the problem through the passage of a Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn ordinance prohibiting abortion trafficking in the City of Amarillo.  

After Amarillo City Councilman Les Simpson asked for evidence of abortion trafficking happening in the City of Amarillo, this commentary was carefully researched and written.  

Since the Dobbs decision, Texas residents have been leaving the State of Texas to obtain elective abortions in states like New Mexico, Colorado, and Kansas. In a June 23, 2023 story by KUT News, three out-of-state abortion facilities were interviewed about just how many of their clients were coming from Texas. In New Mexico, abortion provider Amy Hagstrom Miller shared that “Nearly all of the appointments made at Whole Woman’s Health in Albuquerque have been made by Texans.” 

In Colorado, abortion provider Leroy Carhart IV revealed that 47% of his patients at CARE Colorado in Pueblo were from Texas, while only 31% were from Colorado. Carhart also shared that Texans “most often arrive by car, driving in from cities and towns all over the state, whether making the 13-hour trek from Austin or a five-hour trip from Amarillo,” with some of the traveling costs offset by abortion assistance groups like the Lilith Fund and Jane’s Due Process.  

In Kansas, Planned Parenthood Great Plains president and CEO Emily Wales shared “around half of all patients at Planned Parenthood clinics in Kansas are Texans,” adding that the “heightened demand often surpasses the Wichita clinic’s capacity, and Texas patients are referred to the more distant Kansas City and Overland Park locations.”

Abortion trafficking can be defined as the act of transporting a pregnant mother and her unborn children from one place to another, often across state lines, for the purpose of an elective abortion. While the pregnant mother being trafficked may or may not be a willing participant in the act, the unborn child is most certainly always an unwilling participant.

Abortion Trafficking in the Amarillo Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance

Abortion trafficking is addressed in two parts of the proposed Amarillo Sanctuary City for the Unborn Ordinance. The first time abortion trafficking is addressed is in Section 8-6-3 entitled “Prohibit Elective Abortions On Residents of Amarillo, Texas.” The section reads, 

It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly perform an elective abortion or knowingly engage in conduct that aids or abets an elective abortion if the abortion is performed on a resident of Amarillo, regardless of the location of the abortion, regardless of the law in the jurisdiction where the abortion occurred, and regardless of whether the person knew or should have known that the abortion was performed or induced on a resident of Amarillo.

As outlined in the definitions, “conduct that aids or abets an elective abortion” includes “providing transportation to or from an abortion provider.” 

The nine Texas cities and five Texas counties whose ordinances contain this provision include: Cisco (pop. 3,913), Slaton (pop. 6,235), Athens (pop. 13,121), Abilene (pop. 124,407), San Angelo (pop. 101,612), Plainview (pop. 22,343), Odessa (pop. 125,413), Little River-Academy (pop. 2,048), Muenster (pop. 1,556), Mitchell County (pop. 9,070), Goliad County (pop. 7,012), Cochran County (pop. 2,547), Lubbock County (pop. 317,561), and Dawson County (pop. 12,130).  

The second time abortion trafficking is addressed is in Section 8-6-4 entitled, “Prohibit Abortion Trafficking of an Unborn Child.” The section reads,

It is the policy of the city of Amarillo to protect unborn children passing through the city from individuals and organizations that aid or abet the killing of unborn children, and to protect the unborn from those who seek to kill or otherwise harm them, to the maximum extent permissible under state and federal law. The prohibitions in this section and chapter shall apply extraterritorially to the maximum extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States and the Texas Constitution… It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly transport any individual for the purpose of providing or obtaining an elective abortion, regardless of where the elective abortion will occur. This section shall apply only if the transportation of such individual begins, ends, or passes through the city of Amarillo.

The three Texas cities and five Texas counties whose ordinances contain this provision include: Odessa (pop. 125,413), Little River-Academy (pop. 2,048), Muenster (pop. 1,556), Mitchell County (pop. 9,070), Goliad County (pop. 7,012), Cochran County (pop. 2,547), Lubbock County (pop. 317,561), and Dawson County (pop. 12,130).

The Biden-Harris Administration and Abortion Trafficking 

On the 48th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, on January 21, 2021, while Roe v. Wade was still viewed to be the “law of the land,” the Biden-Harris Administration stated their commitment to make sure everyone has abortion access in every single zip code. On June 24, 2022, when the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) and Planned Parenthood v. Casey (1992) in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health (2022), President Joe Biden made the following remarks: 

So if a woman lives in a state that restricts abortion, the Supreme Court’s decision does not prevent her from traveling from her home state to the state that allows it.  It does not prevent a doctor in that state — in that state from treating her. 

As the Attorney General has made clear, women must remain free to travel safely to another state to seek the care they need.  And my administration will defend that bedrock right. 

If any state or local official, high or low, tries to interfere with a woman’s exercising her basic right to travel, I will do everything in my power to fight that deeply un-American attack.

The Biden-Harris Administration has not relented in continuing their attempt to fulfill this promise of abortion access in every zip code as they have tried to make sure abortion can become a reality for anyone and everyone – even those who reside in the great state of Texas. Abortion trafficking bans are a direct threat to the Biden-Harris Administration’s plans for abortion access in every zip code, because abortion trafficking bans thwart abortion access in every zip code under the jurisdictions where they are passed.

On March 7, 2024, the Biden-Harris Administration released a fact sheet entitled, The Biden-Harris Administration Continues the Fight for Reproductive Freedom. In the document, the Biden-Harris Administration is clear on their commitment to “Support the ability to travel for reproductive health care.” 

The fact sheet states, “The White House continues to partner with leaders on the frontlines of protecting access to abortion—both those fighting extreme state legislation and those advancing proactive policies to protect access to reproductive health care, including for patients who are forced to travel out of state for care.”

Under a section entitled, “Support the Ability to Travel for Reproductive Health Care” the document states, “Women must be able to cross state lines to access legal reproductive health care.” 

The document continues: 

In the face of threats to the constitutional right to travel, the Administration will continue to: Defend the Right to Travel. On the day the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, President Biden reaffirmed the Attorney General’s statement that women must remain free to travel safely to another state to seek the care they need. In November 2023, DOJ filed a statement of interest in two lawsuits challenging the Alabama Attorney General’s threat to prosecute people who provide assistance to women seeking lawful out-of-state abortions. DOJ explained that the threatened Alabama prosecutions infringe the constitutional right to travel and made clear that states may not punish third parties for assisting women in exercising that right. DOJ continues to monitor states’ efforts to restrict the constitutional right to travel across state lines to receive lawful health care.

United States Congress and Abortion Trafficking

On July 7, 2022, United States Representatives Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-7), Marilyn Strickland (D-WA-10), and Jamie Raskin (D-MD-8) introduced the Ensuring Access to Abortion Act of 2022, also known as H.R. 8297. The bill was described as prohibiting “anyone acting under state law from interfering with a person’s ability to access out-of-state abortion services.” This would have prohibited any person acting under state law from “preventing, restricting, impeding, or retaliating against: health care providers who provide legal abortion services to out-of-state residents, any person or entity who helps health care providers to provide such services, any person who travels to another state to obtain such services, any person or entity who helps another person travel to another state to obtain such services, or the movement in interstate commerce of drugs that are approved to terminate pregnancies.” 

A total of 182 Democrats sponsored the bill, including Texas Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX-32), Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35), Marc Veasey (D-TX-33), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29), Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16), Al Green (D-TX-9), and Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30).

Speaking of the bill, Representative Fletcher shared: 

Lawmakers in several states, including my home state of Texas, are now threatening to interfere with the constitutional right of Americans to travel freely and voluntarily within the United States for the purpose of obtaining abortion care. These efforts violate the fundamental rights guaranteed to all citizens. These efforts to deprive Americans of their constitutional rights must be stopped, and Congress has the power and the responsibility to do so. This bill is essential to protecting the health and equality of all Americans, and I hope to see it move quickly through the Congress.

Representative Raskin shared:

As emboldened right-wing forces try to make it a crime for women to obtain out-of-state health care services, and as the Supreme Court discards long-settled constitutional principles, Congress must protect the constitutional right to travel. This important legislation defends the time-honored right to travel across state lines, including for the purpose of obtaining an abortion. We will not allow extremists to dismantle this basic freedom.

The measure passed with 223 yeas, 205 nays, and with 3 not voting. 

Supporting abortion access and voting in favor of the bill were Texas Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX-32), Joaquin Castro (D-TX-20), Henry Cuellar (D-TX-28), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35), Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16), Lizzie Fletcher (D-TX-7), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29), Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-34), Al Green (D-TX-9), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX-30), and Marc Veasey (D-TX-33).

Supporting the right to life and voting against the bill were Texas Representatives Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19), Brian Babin (R-TX-36), Kevin Brady (R-TX-8), Michael Burgess (R-TX-26), John Carter (R-TX-31), Michael Cloud (R-TX-27), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-2), Jake Ellzey (R-TX-6), Pat Fallon (R-TX-4), Mayra Flores (R-TX-34), Louie Gohmert (R-TX-1), Tony Gonzales (R-TX-23), Lance Gooden (R-TX-5), Kay Granger (R-TX-12), Ronny Jackson (R-TX-13), Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), Troy Nehls (R-TX-22), August Pfluger (R-TX-11), Chip Roy (R-TX-21), Pete Sessions (R-TX-17), Van Taylor (R-TX-3), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX-24), Randy Weber (R-TX-14), and Roger Williams (R-TX-25). 

While the bill passed the House, it failed in the Senate. Had it been enacted, the bill would have prohibited “any person from acting under color of state law from restricting or impeding: a person’s constitutional right to travel across state lines for the purpose of obtaining a lawful abortion, a person or entity’s ability to assist an individual in traveling across state lines for the purpose of obtaining a lawful abortion, any health care provider in providing or otherwise enabling lawful abortion services in that state.” If passed, the bill would have also empowered the United States Attorney General to “bring a civil action for declaratory and injunctive relief against any person who is in violation of this law” and would have created a “private right of action for any person harmed in violation of this law to obtain declaratory and injunctive relief, damages, and attorneys’ fees.” 

The Senate also attempted to move forward their own bill. On July 12, 2022, United States Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) introduced the Freedom to Travel for Health Care Act of 2022, also known as S. 4504. The bill was described as prohibiting, “anyone from interfering with a person’s ability to access out-of-state reproductive health care” and would have allowed the Department of Justice to bring a civil action and would have also established a private right of action for any violations of the law. 

A total of 39 Democrats and 1 Independent sponsored the bill, including Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). 

The bill was sent to committee, where it ultimately died. 

On February 2, 2023, United States Representatives Fletcher (TX-7), Strickland (WA-10), and Raskin (MD-8) reintroduced the bill from the previous year. However, this time they changed the name entirely. The new title was, Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act. Her bill, H.R. 782, is described as protecting “the constitutional right to travel across state lines, including for reproductive health care.” 

A total of 176 Democrats sponsored the bill, including Texas Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX-32), Greg Casar (D-TX-35), Jasmine Crockett (D-TX-37), Lloyd Doggett (D-TX-35), Veronica Escobar (D-TX-16), Sylvia Garcia (D-TX-29), Al Green (D-TX-9), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18), and Marc Veasey (D-TX-33).

Regarding the bill, Representative Fletcher shared:

My home state of Texas is in crisis, as are states across the country, where access to abortion has been effectively eliminated in almost all circumstances—including in cases of rape or incest. People in Texas who are able to do so have been traveling out of state to obtain abortion care. And now that fifteen other states have banned abortion, more people are traveling even further to get the reproductive health care they need.  In response to this exercise of the constitutional right to travel, lawmakers and others in Texas—and in states across the country—are threatening to take away that right, too.

We cannot let that happen in any state in the United States of America. To that end, I am glad to reintroduce the Ensuring Women’s Right to Reproductive Freedom Act with Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, Congressman Jamie Raskin, and more than 150 of our colleagues as original co-sponsors. I look forward to continuing our vital work together to protect the health, privacy, dignity, and freedom of women and families across this country.

Representative Raskin shared:  

This bill reaffirms and protects the time-honored constitutional right to travel across state lines, including to obtain health care services. Extremist Republicans aren’t satisfied with simply banning abortion at the state level–they want to stop Americans from seeking an abortion anywhere. Our legislation protects patients who must cross state lines to obtain a safe and legal abortion, as well as anyone who helps them travel and their health care providers. Democrats will continue to reject efforts by extremists to dismantle this basic right of Americans to cross state lines and will never stop fighting for every American to have the freedom to make their own health care decisions.

While the bill has been introduced, the bill has not yet passed the House. 

It should be noted that many of these representatives are not just pushing for legislation supporting abortion access at the federal level, but they are also pushing against legislation prohibiting abortion trafficking at the state and local levels. It should further be noted that while those in the pro-abortion community have often accused anti-abortion laws creating a private right of action as laws that will most assuredly turn “neighbor against neighbor,” the pro-abortion community does not appear to have a problem with the idea of creating a private right of action for laws that suit their purposes. 

On September 12, 2023, after Mason County and the City of Chandler rejected a Sanctuary for the Unborn Ordinance prohibiting abortion trafficking, Representative Colin Allred (D-TX-32) posted on X: 

Texas women should be allowed to travel out of state to receive the abortion care they need. My statement on Mason County and the City of Chandler taking the right step by voting against ordinances criminalizing traveling through their jurisdictions for abortion care: 

Women should have the freedom to make their own decisions about their bodies and their health. Prohibiting a woman from fleeing the state in order to receive the health care she needs would be unconscionable. It’s not surprising to see Texans across the state reject these extremist anti-abortion measures that would criminalize women just for trying to leave Texas to receive necessary abortion care. 

Ted Cruz wants to ban abortion nationwide – an extremist position that’s against the beliefs of the vast majority of Texans. When I’m in the Senate, I will continue to fight to codify Roe v. Wade and ensure that all Texas women can get the health care they need – not in New Mexico or Colorado – but here at home.

On October 25, 2023, after Lubbock County passed a Sanctuary County for the Unborn Ordinance prohibiting abortion trafficking, Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD-8) posted on X: 

Lubbock County, TX just banned abortion-related travel, trapping women in a health care desert. This policy violates the constitutional right to travel. Let’s pass my bill with Representative Lizzie Fletcher and Representative Marilyn Strickland to reaffirm free interstate passage for all Americans.

On November 11, 2023, Representative Colin Allred (D-TX-32) tweeted, “Pairing our state’s abortion ban with an interstate travel ban is turning Texas women into prisoners in their own state. The women of Lubbock County, and across Texas, deserve freedom, not subjugation.” 

On March 22, 2024, the representative posted a picture with Lindsay London and Courtney Brown, co-founders of the Amarillo Reproductive Freedom Alliance. London works as a nurse and Brown works as a coffee shop owner in Amarillo, Texas. 

The caption under the picture read: 

Women all over Texas are leading the fight against Texas’ cruel abortion ban and travel restrictions. It was great to talk with members of the Amarillo Reproductive Freedom Alliance about their critical work in the Panhandle, and how I will stand up for our freedom in the Senate.

Abortion Assistance Organizations and Abortion Trafficking

On March 26, 2024, the Washington Post reported on those who had gathered for the Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. the FDA case before the Supreme Court of the United States. The article shared about how Lindsay London, with Amarillo Reproductive Freedom Alliance, “has driven women to Albuquerque and Denver to receive a surgical abortion” and “provides resources for people to obtain mifepristone.” 

Also in attendance outside of the Supreme Court was Courtney Brown. Brown described the City of Amarillo as ‘ground zero’ in the fight against abortion. Brown’s coffee shop is one of several businesses in Amarillo working with the abortion assistance organization known as Jane’s Due Process. 

On January 9, 2024, Jane’s Due Process posted on X: 

Hey Amarillo! We’re bringing free repro kits to your city. Whether you need delivery or pick up, we got you! To request a free repro kit, which includes plan b, condoms, pregnancy tests, dental dams, and an informational zine on reproductive health text [number redacted]. 

The post continued, “Shout out to our new Amarillo repo kit pick up spots: Sweet Needles Tattoo, Caliche Co., 806 Coffee & Lounge, [and] Shi Li’s BBQ + Soul Food.” 

Jane’s Due Process is an organization known for assisting minors to get abortions across state lines without parental consent. 

When Lubbock County passed their abortion trafficking ban on October 24, 2023, Jane’s Due Process took their frustration to X, posting:

Jane’s Due Process is appalled by the anti-abortion travel bans that have been proposed in communities across Texas. They are tools of oppression designed to scare and confuse Texans about their rights to leave the state for legal abortions/help their family and friends do so. So far, these travel bans have passed in Goliad, Mitchell, and Cochran County. Yesterday, three county commissioners approved an ordinance that bars Texans from traveling through Lubbock County for a legal abortion in another state…

At this moment, our primary concern is letting young people in Texas know they can still call us if they are considering traveling for abortion care – abortion care that Texans should be able to access in their own state. Everyone, no matter where they live, deserves access to reproductive freedom and the ability to make decisions about their own bodies and lives. Our hotline is still open, providing information and assistance to young Texans seeking to do just that. Young Texans under 18 looking for stigma-free information about abortion access can call Jane’s Due Process at [number redacted].

In a December 7, 2023 post on X, Jane’s Due Process helped rally opposition to the abortion trafficking ban by writing, “HEY AMARILLO!! Anti-abortion extremists are trying to pass an anti abortion law where you live, but you can speak out against it at the Amarillo City Council meeting on 12/12. Submit a public comment against agenda item # 11.A.”

On March 26, 2024, Jane’s Due Process posted on their Instagram account: 

We stand against local attacks on abortion! At Jane’s Due Process, we are committed to expanding access for Lubbock, Amarillo, and other Texas communities that are being impacted by restrictive abortion laws and policies. Teens, please reach out to our hotline at [redacted number] for up to date reproductive health and rights resources‼

One of the infographics attached to the post reads: 

67 cities and 7 counties have issued ordinances classifying them as ‘Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn.’ We are deeply troubled by the potential ramifications for reproductive rights and autonomy within Lubbock and the state of Texas. Even worse, anti-abortion protesters have been attempting to expand these policies to Amarillo.

Of course, Jane’s Due Process is not the only abortion assistance organization helping to mobilize the opposition to the anti-abortion law. 

On December 8, 2023, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes posted on X: 

URGENT:  The anti-abortion extremists are back at it again to attempt to pass a law banning support for abortion seekers who live in or travel through Amarillo. Help speak out against these anti-abortion ordinances by showing up to testify at the Amarillo City Council meeting on 12/12 or by submitting a public comment! Submit a public comment at: https://www.amarillo.gov/departments/city-manager/city-secretary/public-address-registration-form 

The post contained three infographics from Fund Texas Choice and Texas Abortion Access Network. The first infographic read, “URGENT CALL TO ACTION ROUND 2! Amarillo City Council Meeting. Amarillo City Hall. Tuesday, December 12. 3:00 PM.” This was followed by a second infographic which read: 

CALL TO ACTION. Once again, the anti-abortion extremists behind SB8 are attempting to pass an anti-abortion law in Amarillo, TX. 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. Help speak out against these ordinances by showing up to testify at the Amarillo City Council meeting on 12/12 or by submitting a public comment!

The third and final infographic read:

SAMPLE COMMENT SCRIPT: ‘My name is _______, and I’m calling as a concerned [citizen of Amarillo/Texan]. I want to express my deep opposition to the proposed ordinance that allows random people to sue someone traveling through Amarillo with an abortion seeker or someone who helps an Amarillo resident access abortion. I am concerned that this would impact local businesses by deterring people from traveling through Amarillo and I am concerned about misuse of this ordinance to harass, stalk, and surveil Amarillo residents. I urge you to vote no on this ordinance.

On December 12, 2023, just days after they helped mobilize opposition to the effort to outlaw abortion trafficking, Jane’s Due Process wrote, 

We restarted abortion support in May and we’ve already helped 153 young people seeking abortion funding and practical support for traveling out of state. 

We couldn’t have done this without your support… By making a gift to Jane’s Due Process before December 31st, you can help us continue expanding our support for Texas teens in 2024… $1,500 helps one teen travel for abortion care… $1,000 supports one month of outreach to Texas teens about their rights and how to access abortion.

Aubrey Reinhardt Birkenfeld is one Amarillo resident who is well acquainted with Jane’s Due Process, Planned Parenthood Texas Votes, and other pro-abortion organizations. According to her LinkedIn page, Birkenfeld has served as the Assistant Criminal District Attorney for Juveniles in the Randall County District Attorney’s Office since January 2024. 

Birkenfeld has served as a Patient Advocate for Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas, Inc., from March 2015 to present. As a Patient Advocate she: “Share[d] personal story as a patient advocate affected by The Texas Omnibus Abortion Bill (HB 2) at issue in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt; Communicate[d] with employees of Planned Parenthood of Greater Texas and other patient advocates about issues facing the reproductive rights movement in Texas; Spoke at the Planned Parenthood Annual Luncheon in 2017 with Barbara Pierce Bush and Ken Lambrecht; Featured in L.A. Times, NPR, ATTN, The Intercept, and local news affiliates.” She has also been a Planned Parenthood Texas Votes Speakers’ Bureau Member from March 2019 to present and has served as an Executive Board Member of the Domestic Violence Coalition from March 2020 to present. 

Previously, Birkenfeld served as the Assistant Criminal District Attorney Misdemeanor Court Chief (CCL2) from January 2022 to January 2024 and the Assistant Criminal District Attorney for the 47th District Attorney’s Office in Amarillo, Texas from February 2020 to January 2022. From June 2018 to August 2018, Birkenfeld served as a law clerk with the Center for Reproductive Rights – which is the most well known pro-abortion law firm in the United States. 

Birkenfeld also served as a Hotline Volunteer for Jane’s Due Process from December 2016 to August 2021. As a Hotline Volunteer Birkenfeld “provide[d] intake and counseling of minors seeking a judicial bypass in the State of Texas; Partner[d] with organization[s] such as TEA Fund, Lilith Fund, and West Fund to provide minors with financial assistance; Refer[red] minors to supervisor for minor to be paired with an attorney for the judicial bypass process.” 

Those who examine Birkenfeld’s resume could easily find themselves assuming that Jane’s Due Process has a great friend in the Randall County District Attorney’s Office. 

Abortion Facilities and Abortion Trafficking

One abortion facility used by Jane’s Due Process is Alamo Women’s Clinic in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Alamo Women’s Clinic is operated by Alan Braid, who relocated his abortion facility from San Antonio, Texas.

Under the Costs & Funding tab on their website, Alamo Women’s Clinic states, “All inclusive. No hidden fees. Funding is available. We believe money should never be an obstacle to getting the abortion care you need.” Under the heading “Funding is Available,” the website states, “Below we’ve listed numerous organizations that will cover some or all of your abortion costs. Please reach out and apply to those that best pertain to you.” Listed under this section, for Texas residents, are the following organizations: Buckle Bunnies Fund, Jane’s Due Process, Support Your Sistah, The Lilith Fund, and Fund Texas Choice. 

Jane’s Due Process is described on the Alamo Women’s Clinic website as providing “funding to help cover the costs of travel and cover the cost of accommodation in its entirety for Texas minors who must travel for abortion care.” 

Fund Texas Choice is described on the Alamo Women’s Clinic website as seeking “to make it easier for people to access the reproductive care they need by helping with a way to get to the clinic and/or a place to stay.” 

On May 9, 2023, Alamo Women’s Clinic posted on their Facebook page, 

Texas Teens – if you are under 18 and seeking an abortion, there is funding available. Abortions Care and all travel and expenses are FREE. Compassionate, Kind and Discreet staff. No Parental consent is needed in Albuquerque or Illinois. Call us for help.

On May 13, 2023, Alamo Women’s Clinic shared a post from Jane’s Due Process’ Facebook account. The post read, 

Did you know that last week we started helping Texas teens travel out of state for abortion care? Well we did — and we’re ready to celebrate with you. 

On October 24, 2023, Alamo Women’s Clinic posted on their Facebook page a link to a post on the Lilith Fund’s Instagram account. An infographic read, “Need to travel out of Texas?” The post read, “Here’s what you need to know if you’re traveling out of Texas for your abortion. No one should have to leave home to access basic, essential healthcare like abortion. You are not alone and we are here to help you.”

In an interview with National Public Radio published January 23, 2024, it was reported that 85% of Alan Braid’s business in Albuquerque, New Mexico, comes from the State of  Texas. Braid told the news outlet that abortion travel bans like the one passed in Lubbock County and the one being discussed in Amarillo, are having an impact on clinics throughout New Mexico. According to Braid, “They’re having higher no-show rates because people are afraid to drive through Lubbock and Amarilo.” 

Concluding Thoughts

While some will make this out to be a matter of what is or is not appropriate to be addressed at the local level, the Democrats appear poised to never miss an opportunity to protect and to expand abortion access at every level of government. 

When the City Council of San Antonio decided to move forward with their plan to help pay for the abortion trafficking of their residents, it did not go unnoticed. Senior Advisor for Planned Parenthood Texas Votes and former Texas Senator Wendy Davis praised the leadership of one of America’s largest cities. 

On April 12, 2024, she wrote on X:   

Cannot applaud the city of San Antonio enough for fighting to make sure that access to abortion care isn’t reserved only for the privileged few who can afford to travel out of state. TY to city leaders there for their courage.

Eventually, the Mayor and City Council of Amarillo will have a decision to make. Will they address the problem of abortion trafficking, or will they try to dodge the issue in its entirety? In the minds of the Amarillo Sanctuary City for the Unborn Citizen Initiative Petition Initiating Committee, the abortion trafficking provision is a non-negotiable that must be passed in the city of Amarillo.  

Jana May, an Amarillo resident and head of the initiating committee, shared, “The Biden Administration and their allies want our roads and our airports to help vulnerable pregnant mothers get abortions. It is time for our leaders to stand up and say, ‘No, not on our watch.’ It does not matter if you are a part of Women’s March, Jane’s Due Process, or Amarillo Reproductive Freedom Alliance. The abortion trafficking must stop – period. We know that it has gone on, we know that it is going on, and it is time to see it stop – once and for all.” 

Robin Ross, an abortion survivor and a resident of Amarillo, shared, “We have heard the Biden Administration’s arguments and talking points. They are the same arguments and talking points as the abortion industry. Both the Biden Administration and the abortion industry want abortion access for everyone – regardless of what zip code they live in.” 

While the Biden-Harris Administration views people assisting pregnant mothers traveling to get an abortion in another state as protected activity under the Constitution, many who view abortion as harmful to the mother and the unborn child point out that states have jurisdiction under the Constitution to regulate the conduct of their own citizens as a way to protect the health and safety of their residents. 

The Supreme Court of the United States decided in Jones v. Helms (1981) that a Georgia law making it a misdemeanor to abandon one’s child and a felony to abandon one’s child and leave the state of Georgia did not infringe on the right to travel protected by the United States Constitution. The Court saw the offense of abandoning a child and leaving the state as “rationally related to the offense itself.” Just as the Georgia law sought to protect the health and safety of residents of the State of Georgia and was upheld as Constitutional, it is believed that these abortion trafficking laws designed to protect the health and safety of a jurisdiction’s residents will pass Constitutional muster as well.  

It should also be noted that the abortion trafficking provision of the Amarillo Ordinance tracks the current wording of the federal Mann Act of 1910, almost verbatim, with the exception that the Amarillo Ordinance has a broader definition of the prohibited purposes. The prohibited purposes in the Amarillo Ordinance includes abortion trafficking. Abortion trafficking would have fallen within the erstwhile “immoral purpose” definition of the Mann Act. Since all previous iterations of the Mann Act were upheld as constitutional, the abortion trafficking provision should survive any court challenge regarding its constitutionality.

Within the City of Amarillo, Interstate 40 is being used as a “road to Auschwitz” every single day, and no amount of misinformation can ever hide that great reality. The problem of abortion trafficking is not one that the City of Amarillo can ignore.

This is a commentary published with the author’s permission. If you wish to submit a commentary to Texas Scorecard, please submit your article to submission@texasscorecard.com.

Mark Lee Dickson

Mark Lee Dickson is a director with Right to Life of East Texas and the founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative.

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