Hundreds of Idahoans Came to Oregon for an Abortion Last Year

New research quantifies the impact of the Supreme Court’s 2022 reversal of Roe v. Wade.

The Oregon border with Idaho, at Ontario. (Shane N. Cotee/Shutterstock)

Around 171,000 people traveled for an abortion last year, according to researchers who surveyed clinics across the country. That’s double the number from 2019. The findings were highlighted in The New York Times yesterday.

The data was published by the Guttmacher Institute, which was previously the research arm of Planned Parenthood. It illustrates both the profound effect of the Supreme Court’s 2022 reversal of Roe v. Wade, which led to 21 states restricting abortion access, and the limits of the efforts by some of those states to stop people from getting care elsewhere.

Take Idaho, for example. There, lawmakers have made it illegal not only to perform the procedure, but also to take a minor out of state to get one performed elsewhere.

In response, Planned Parenthood closed its Boise clinic—and opened one last year in Ontario, across the border in Oregon.

In 2019, the number of people traveling from Idaho to Oregon for an abortion was so negligible it didn’t show up in the data. Last year, 400 people made the trip.

Dr. Sara Kennedy, CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, says her clinics are now serving patients from more than 40 states. “People are traveling to receive essential health care wherever they can find an appointment,” she says.

A total of 11,000 abortions were performed in Oregon that year, researchers estimated. The number is increasing and is now higher than it’s been in a decade. It includes both surgical and medical abortions, the latter requiring only pills.

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a legal effort to restrict access to one of those widely available medications.

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