Would such a law be constitutional? It’s hard to be sure. The doctrine is a confusing mishmash, and the Supreme Court has declined to offer definitive guidance. Although legal scholars have been arguing since the 1990s in favor of a right to travel to seek an abortion, the last time the justices directly addressed the issue of a state’s power to punish crimes beyond its borders was … um … 1941.
In short, we can’t predict how a court would treat an effort by one state to bar its citizens from obtaining abortion in another. But one need not be pro-choice to see the strength of the argument against such a law.
Let’s start with a basic question: Can a state punish its citizens for breaking the state’s laws while beyond its boundaries? It would seem that