PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As Idaho became the first state to pass an abortion ban based on the controversial Texas law this week, Oregon lawmakers simultaneously approved $15 million for the Oregon Reproductive Health Equity Fund, to combat growing attacks on abortion accessibility.

“Abortion and the full spectrum of reproductive health services must be available and affordable for anyone who needs it,” Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield said in a statement. “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 an announcement Tuesday, Rayfield’s office said Oregon lawmakers chose to step up and pass the fund in an effort to, “mitigate harm from a looming Supreme Court decision,” which has the potential to undercut the right to abortion under Roe V. Wade.

As a part of the final budget bill approved during the 2022 legislative session, the fund expands on the 2017 Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), which codified the right to an abortion in state law increased Oregonian’s access to abortions, family planning, and postpartum care.

According to the release, the new Reproductive Health Equity Fund expands on the progress made by the RHEA foundation by removing additional barriers for those seeking reproductive health, such as abortion funds, travel and lodging needs, practical support, and provider network capacity limitations.

As outlined, Seeding Justice will begin to meet those urgent needs as the organization begins to distribute the $15 million in funding to Oregonians.

“The Reproductive Health Equity Act laid an important foundation, and now we must remain vigilant and keep working to strengthen and expand these protections,” state Rep. Andrea Valderrama 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.”

The House Speaker’s Office explained that the upcoming Supreme Court decision could result in the erasure of almost 50 years of abortion protections and additionally set up 26 other states to pass similar legislation to Idaho and Texas, which could restrict or completely ban abortion access.

As more restrictive legislation is passed in neighboring states like Idaho, the number of out-of-state visitors traveling to Oregon for reproductive health will likely increase.

Should this be the case, state Rep. Tawna Sanchez said the approved fund will act as an investment in the Oregon health care system.

“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,” Sanchez said. “We are rising to this alarming moment to invest in abortion access as a central foundation of Oregon’s healthcare infrastructure.”

State Rep. Courtney Neron said, “Four generations of women in my family believe that people should have the right to choose when they become parents. I am committed to a future in which the full range of reproductive healthcare, including abortion, is accessible to whomever needs it, when they need it.”