DES MOINES, Iowa – Republican U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley said it would be “unconstitutional” to restrict people from traveling across state lines to seek abortion services.

“We cannot stop people from traveling anyplace they want to,” he told reporters Wednesday. “It’s a constitutional issue and a freedom.”

The issue has gained traction after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and, with it, a constitutional right to abortion. Now, as Republican-led states work to curtail or outlaw the procedure, some abortion opponents have advocated for putting restrictions on a person’s ability to travel to other states where abortions are more accessible.

Some major companies, including Amazon, Citigroup, Salesforce and Tesla, have begun to cover travel expenses for employees who need to travel out of their home state to seek abortion services.

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That travel has already begun. An Ohio case drew international attention Wednesday after a man was charged with raping a 10-year-old Ohio girl who later traveled across state lines to receive an abortion in Indiana. The procedure is banned in Ohio after about six weeks, and there are no exceptions for cases involving rape or incest.

Alison Dreith, director of strategic partnerships for the Midwest Access Coalition, a group that helps people travel to receive abortions throughout the Midwest, previously told the Des Moines Register the group was receiving about 30 calls per day ahead of the June 24 overturn of Roe v. Wade.

“The first Monday after the decision, we had 200 calls that day,” Dreith said. “So the demand has just gone up exponentially.”

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Other abortion opponents have called on Republicans in Congress to enact a nationwide ban on abortions. Asked whether he would support such a measure, Grassley said abortion is a states’ issue, though he did not say directly whether he would support such legislation.

“I’ve been fighting for 50 years for this to be returned to the states,” he said.

In May, The Washington Post reported that Iowa U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst would introduce a nationwide abortion ban in Congress. In a call with reporters Wednesday, she did not say whether that’s an avenue she plans to pursue.

“I am adamantly pro-life and I do believe that the Supreme Court made the right decision in the Dobbs case by sending these decisions back to state and local authorities,” she said. “So again, adamantly pro-life and I’m anxious to see what the Iowa Legislature and the governor will be debating on this issue.”

Grassley is seeking reelection to an eighth term in the Senate this November. He faces Democrat and retired U.S. Navy Adm. Mike Franken. Franken has advocated for increased access to abortion services, and he said he supports ending the filibuster in order to codify abortion protections into law.

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Des Moines Register Reporter Stephen Gruber-Miller contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Chuck Grassley: Abortion travel restrictions are ‘unconstitutional’

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