Advocates for reproductive justice to award first $1M from Reproductive Health Equity Fund
First investment to prioritize patients with greatest barriers to abortion care Seeding Justice to open the fund for private contributions, urge donors to support community-designed solutions for advancing reproductive justice and freedom for all
Portland, Ore. — In partnership with advisors to the Reproductive Health Equity Fund — including ACLU of Oregon, Forward Together Action, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, and Pro-Choice Oregon — Seeding Justice announced today the first $1M investment will go to Northwest Abortion Access Fund (NWAAF).
In response to the Supreme Court decision (Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization) to overturn Roe v. Wade and with support from advisors, community leaders and healthcare providers, the first investment will prioritize immediate and urgent resources for people most impacted by barriers to abortion care, including Oregonians living in the eastern part of our state and patients from states like Idaho where abortion will be immediately outlawed.
“We know the consequences of this decision will be swift and devastating including for Oregonians who’s closest abortion provider was in Idaho and for communities nationwide. Our first investment will reflect our belief that we must prioritize the needs of those most impacted by barriers to essential abortion care immediately,” said Se-ah-dom Edmo, executive director for Seeding Justice.
The Reproductive Health Equity Fund was established by Oregon legislators in the 2022 legislative session along with a $15M allocation from the state. Administered by Seeding Justice, the Reproductive Health Equity Fund will provide resources for those who may be impacted by the loss of federal abortion protections, and invest in solutions that will help build a more equitable healthcare system across the state of Oregon that can meet the needs of communities historically and currently marginalized in healthcare settings.
“This investment is transformational for people seeking abortion care in Oregon. We are so grateful to be part of a community and coalition that understands the necessity of supporting those who will experience the greatest barriers to access because of this decision,” said Megan Kovacs, board member of NWAAF.
Analysis shows that weakening or overturning Roe will further limit access to care for millions of people, with the burden falling especially hard on those with low incomes, people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ+ individuals and people who live in rural communities. a product of the nation’s history of racism and discrimination.
NWAAF will use the grant to strengthen its existing work with communities on the ground, providing resources and support to people seeking abortion, including the cost of procedures, helping getting to and from the clinic, a safe place to stay for those traveling for care, and more. Without immediate support, Kovacs noted that patients can experience delays in obtaining care which increase costs or go without it altogether.
Considered one of the nation’s “most protective” state for reproductive freedom with no restrictions on access to abortion, Oregon health centers could see a 234% increase in out-of-state patients from neighboring states and beyond, according to analysis from the Guttmacher Institute. And analysis by The New York Times indicates that Eastern Oregonians could see an up to 35% reduction in abortion access when Idaho’s trigger law banning abortion goes into effect.
Seeding Justice is also officially opening the Reproductive Health Equity Fund for support from local and National foundations and private donors to increase investments for people seeking abortion care in Oregon and for added solutions that will be designed in and with communities to advance reproductive justice and freedom.
“We must work together to meet the increased need for abortion and simultaneously break down longstanding systemic barriers to reproductive and gender-affirming care,” said Edmo. “We believe our best path forward is built on a more just and equitable healthcare system that can support us all.”
Donations to the Reproductive Health Equity Fund can be made online here.
A Steering Committee will be appointed this summer to drive the grant making process moving forward with facilitation from Seeding Justice. Experts and community leaders who work on the frontlines of equitable healthcare access and those most impacted will be selected to serve in the decision making roles. The criteria established and all funding decisions will be made by the Steering Committee in consultation with communities. Once the Steering Committee decides who will receive a grant, Seeding Justice will distribute the funds according to their wishes.
Updates on the Reproductive Health Equity Fund will be shared online here. ###
Northwest Abortion Access Fund (NWAAF) is an abortion fund serving Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska. Trained, compassionate volunteer advocates run a toll-free hotline and help people pay for their abortion care by sending funds directly to clinics. Volunteers help people get to and from the clinic, and ensure people traveling for care have a safe place to stay.
Seeding Justice (formerly MRG Foundation) is the region’s leading funder of social change organizing. Seeding Justice works to build collective power at the frontlines of social change by transforming philanthropy and funding movements in the pursuit of justice and liberation for all communities.