FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2021
CONTACT: Chrissy Faessen, [email protected], 703-828-7769
Abortion Access Advocates Applaud Bold Action to Provide Direct Support to People Impacted by Threats to Abortion Access Nationwide
PORTLAND — The Portland City Council today voted to allocate $200,000 to the Northwest Abortion Access Fund (NWAAF) in order to provide needed support and resources to those trying to access abortion care, in the wake of Texas’s recent ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
Earlier this month, the Supreme Court allowed Texas’s radical and extreme abortion ban, Senate Bill 8, to go into effect, allowing private individuals to police and profit from infringing upon other people’s bodily autonomy. Combined with the Supreme Court’s consideration of a Mississippi case that challenges Roe v. Wade, the right to abortion is in jeopardy across the country.
Despite Oregon’s state-level laws that protect the right to abortion, many Oregonians face obstacles to accessing abortion care, including employees on federal health insurance plans, those who receive care via Indian Health Services, those who are incarcerated, and those who need to travel long distances, due to a lack of providers in rural communities or whose only health care providers are religiously affiliated. Oregon also serves as a critical access point for people from out of state, including neighboring Idaho and beyond — a need that will expand with statewide abortion bans already passed or on the horizon in other states.
Abortion funds like NWAAF provide mutual aid and other practical and emotional support to people experiencing financial or other barriers to abortion access. NWAAF already supports nearly 900 people accessing abortion care each year. With additional capacity, NWAAF can support more people experiencing barriers in Oregon, as well as people who live in Texas and other states who may be forced to travel to Oregon in order to receive an abortion.
“In response to Texas SB 8, a law designed to cause disproportionate harm to Black, brown, Indigenous, immigrant, and young people in Texas, Portland leaders are modeling forward-looking, compassionate leadership, by centering the people who face the biggest barriers to economic, racial and abortion justice,” said Christel Allen, Executive Director of Pro-Choice Oregon. “We are thankful we have local leaders that listen to us—people who have had or may to need to have an abortion—and are dedicating resources to the Northwest Abortion Access Fund. We hope other city, county and state leaders follow Portland’s powerful example with additional investments in abortion funds.”
“As more statewide abortion bans are poised to be adopted and as trigger laws are anticipated to go into effect, like the one in Idaho, the City of Portland is strategically and wisely investing in shoring up the abortion network and infrastructure,” said An Do, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. “Portland is compassionately responding to the cruelty of the Texas abortion ban by funding the Northwest Abortion Access Fund whose mutual aid and support will be critical to Texans seeking care outside of their hostile state, to Portlanders who struggle to access care due to economic insecurity, and to many others throughout the Pacific Northwest whose access to care hangs by a thread.”
“I know what it’s like to have to travel for health care, and not be able to sleep in my own bed after an abortion, because of political interference. The Northwest Abortion Access Fund was critical for me being able to access my abortion, which cost $10,000 after being lied to and delayed by anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers. I had to fly over 1,000 miles to an abortion provider who would provide me care, not unlike what Texans are facing. By investing in the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, the City of Portland is fighting back against abortion bans and supporting people seeking health care,” said Beth Vial, board member of Northwest Abortion Access Fund.
“When it comes to abortion care, we know we can’t rely on the courts alone to protect us. In 2019, the City of Austin made the bold move to be the first city in the south to fund access to abortion.” said Neesha Davé, Acting Executive Director, Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity. “It’s heartening to see Portland leaders bravely stepping up and funding the indispensable work of the Northwest Abortion Access Fund, to serve their community members and Texans who are forced to travel out of state to get care.”
“In the midst of an all-out attack on abortion access, the Portland City Council is boldly living its values and showing us what the path to abortion justice looks like,” said Ravina Daphtary, State Strategies Director at All* Above All. “Abortion funds like the Northwest Abortion Access Fund provide critical and essential support to people seeking abortion care. With this funding, the Northwest Abortion Access Fund can serve its community and help people get the care they need, however much money they make.”
“With the crisis in abortion access at a fever pitch, every state and city should be working to secure equitable access to abortion care,” said Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH). “We applaud the Portland City Council for recognizing its role in expanding access to abortion, and thank the Northwest Abortion Access Fund for providing critical support to people seeking abortion care.”
With this funding allocation, Portland becomes the third city across the country in recent years to grant municipal resources for abortion care and support. In 2019, New York City first allocated municipal funding to the New York Abortion Access Fund to provide direct support to people seeking abortion care, followed by Austin, Texas, which allocated funding for practical support for abortion access.
Pro-Choice Oregon develops and sustains a constituency that uses the political process to guarantee every person who can become pregnant the right to make personal decisions regarding the full range of reproductive choices, including preventing unintended pregnancy, bearing healthy children, and choosing legal abortion. We educate our members and identified supporters, provide strategic advice to candidates, mobilize get out the vote efforts, and ensure that pro-choice policies are a top priority in local and state government. prochoiceoregon.org
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, the statewide advocacy and political voice for Planned Parenthood’s two Oregon affiliates, believes no person should experience barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health care and education. PPAO defends the Planned Parenthood mission by advocating for public policy that will enhance and protect reproductive health care, education and access; by building support and accountability among elected officials in Oregon; by working with coalition partners; and by engaging and motivating the public. ppaoregon.org
The Northwest Abortion Access Fund (NWAAF) is an abortion fund serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. Trained, compassionate volunteer advocates run our toll-free hotline. We help people pay for their abortion care by sending funding directly to the clinic. We also help people get to and from the clinic. And we make sure people traveling for care have a safe place to stay. We are a 501(c)3 nonprofit and a member of the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), a membership organization of over 70 funds across the United States. nwaafund.org
The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) is an advocacy group that works directly with state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice organizations and allied groups to protect and advance access to reproductive healthcare. For more than 40 years, NIRH has been partnering with communities to build coalitions, launch campaigns, and successfully advocate for policy change. NIRH’s strategy is to go on the offensive and focus on communities where change is needed, so the fabric of reproductive freedom becomes harder to tear apart. nirhealth.org