SALEM, Ore. - $15 million was approved in the Oregon legislature's final budget bill to improve access to abortions in Oregon.
Several states have passed laws restricting abortion access and a decision is pending on a Supreme Court case on the constitutionality of one such law under Roe v. Wade.
Idaho to Oregon's east has now passed a six-week abortion ban.
The Oregon funds would pay for abortion fees, cover travel and lodging and expand provider network capacity - for all Americans.
"The funds would be available to support Oregonians as well as individuals coming to our state who need access to care," according to the chief of staff in the Oregon House Speaker’s Office.
“Abortion and the full spectrum of reproductive health services must be available and affordable for anyone who needs it,” Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield, D-Corvallis, said. “This $15 million will deliver on Oregon’s commitment to reproductive freedom by sending practical, meaningful support for people in our state – no matter what happens in Boise, Washington D.C. or anywhere else.”
In 2017, Oregon passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which codifies the right to an abortion in state law.
"The Reproductive Health Equity Act laid an important foundation, and now we must remain vigilant and keep working to strengthen and expand these protections,” Rep. Andrea Valderrama, D-Portland, said. "Abortion is healthcare. Every individual should have access to the full range of reproductive services that are available. These funds take a critical next step by investing in culturally specific reproductive health outreach and education programs, led by and centered within communities of color.”
“People from states with more restrictive laws already travel to Oregon for abortion care, and we face the very real likelihood that other states will ban abortion and shutter clinics,” said Rep. Tawna Sanchez, D-North and Northeast Portland, co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means Committee. “We are rising to this alarming moment to invest in abortion access as a central foundation of Oregon’s healthcare infrastructure.”