Since the overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling last year, the number of patients from Idaho who are seeking abortions in Oregon has skyrocketed by 1,000%, according to Planned Parenthood.
“Our fiscal year of 2022 we had about 31 patient visits from Idaho vs 392 visits in our fiscal year of 2023 for abortion-related care,” Interim President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette Kenji Nozaki said.
With some narrow, technical exceptions, abortion is banned throughout pregnancy in Idaho.
Nozaki said that before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, the Bend clinic alone saw an average of 54 patients per month for abortion care. Just one of those would come from Idaho.
Since Idaho’s ban went into effect, the average number of abortion visits to Bend has risen to 74 patients per month with 16 of those coming from Idaho.
Last week, a mother and son from Idaho were charged with kidnapping an underage girl, accused of taking her to Bend to receive an abortion.
In a statement to Central Oregon Daily News, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Erin Tognetti wrote that the charges “result from their coercion of the child and secreting her out of the state without permitting her to communicate with her parents. The child’s abortion is not an element of the charged offense and the Idaho Abortion Trafficking statute is not implicated in this case.”
Lois Anderson with Oregon Right to Life says while the increase in abortions in Oregon is concerning to the organization, she doubts the significance of the impact.
“I think it’s important for us to know what those numbers are. We’re talking about, from my understanding, between 30 or 40 compared to about 300. While any number for us of abortions is a tragedy, when we talk 1,000%, that sounds maybe bigger than the impact really is,” Anderson said.
Nozaki says in the fiscal year of 2024, Planned Parenthood is on track to more than double the 392 abortion-related visits they saw in 2023.
Ohio voters on Tuesday approved a constitutional amendment protecting the right to abortion and other forms of reproductive health care. Since the Supreme Court decision, voters in all seven states that held a statewide vote have backed access. Advocates both for and against abortion access are working to get measures on ballots in other states.