In recent months we have seen reproductive choice come under attack in the United States, from abortion bans to contraceptive restrictions. Here in Oregon, we continue to guarantee these rights, and we need elected officials who will fight to protect these rights and seek to expand care to meet the care needs for Oregonians and for those who visit our state to receive the care that they need.
Currently in Oregon, there are numerous reproductive "care deserts" where care is not available nearby. This is largely true in Eastern Oregon, where in the past many Oregonians who wish to receive the reproductive care that they choose have sought that care in Idaho. This will no longer be available as Idaho moves to heavily restrict abortion, and will exacerbate the challenges with our current lack of providers in two ways. First, Oregonians will need to seek their care here, where they may need to travel several hours each way to receive that care if they can even get seen for an appointment. Second, many Idahoans will now be seeking this care in Oregon.
We need to grow our access to reproductive care and the workforce needed to supply it. We need to work with current providers to understand what the barriers are in providing care in these care deserts. We need to work with our medical schools to understand why students are not entering the reproductive care field, and we need to work to address those issues, incentivize care providers to move into these care deserts, and to make sure that are safe while they do so.
If you send me to Salem, I will fight to protect reproductive rights here in Oregon, and will work to expand access to care across the state to meet the needs of today and prepare for the needs of tomorrow.