The Oregon Foundation for Reproductive Health, under NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, manages the only fund in Oregon established to provide financial assistance for women traveling to access abortion care. Established in 1989 as the “Spring Adams Fund”, we are excited to announce the fund’s new name: Safe Travels. This new name more accurately reflects the current reality of women traveling from across Oregon and parts of Washington and Idaho to access care from Portland’s abortion providers.
Oregon is often called the “most pro-choice state in the nation”, with no legal restrictions on abortion care, but this does not mean equal access to abortion services for all women in Oregon. With our 98,381 square-mile state, women traveling to Portland experience the same burdens as those in other geographically distant states like Texas. When you consider that a round trip drive from Medford is 540 miles or Bend is 320 miles, that takes considerable time and effort to access care. Many women are still denied insurance coverage for abortion or must pay sky-high deductibles, leaving them to have to come up with between $500-$2000 in unexpected expenses. Add to this the cost of travel for those coming from outside the Portland area, and many women are forced to delay their procedure or forego care altogether due to these barriers.
Our Safe Travels fund is one way we show our commitment ensuring access and supporting women in their decision to have an abortion. The fund is primarily supported by individual donors, whose gifts go directly toward supporting the real women affected by abortion politics and ideology. “We know that women who travel to Portland for an abortion are considering many thing, from childcare to time off from work, and being able to depend on a hotel room or gas money can be the financial difference that makes or breaks their ability to seek timely care.” Hannah Rosenau, program director at OFRH says, “I think this fund is incredible important.” When people delay or reschedule their abortion because of travel barriers, it not only causes increased burden for the woman but the cost and complexity of the procedure increases dramatically as well. Not having a safe place to stay or a way to get to their appointment puts an emotional and economic strain on women and families. Safe Travels is our response to the current barriers to safe abortion that we see and allows us to directly support women in their decisions despite economic and geographic circumstances.