About the Reproductive Health Equity Fund
Abortion is health care and all people deserve access to reproductive and gender-affirming services
Oregon has the strongest legal protections for abortion and other reproductive healthcare services in the nation, yet for decades many people have struggled to access care in our state.
The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June 2022 severely exacerbates barriers to abortion care, especially for communities that already experience iniquities—people affected by poverty, people of color, immigrants, those who are two-spirit and LGBTQ+, and people who live in tribal and rural communities.
By investing in Oregon’s reproductive health infrastructure and workforce, the Reproductive Health Equity Fund addresses the historic underinvestment in many Oregon communities.
Four areas of investment defined by the Legislature
- Abortion funds and other patient support needs
- Healthcare infrastructure and workforce investments
- Community-based advocacy and education
The Steering Committee of the Reproductive Health Equity Fund has adopted the following values to guide its work in ensuring the fund meets the needs of Oregonians who have had the biggest barriers to reproductive healthcare. These values are used to govern and guide the operation of the Fund.
With this Fund, decision making power is in the hands of the people and organizations who have lived experience and deep understanding of the barriers they face. Communities that have been consistently impacted by barriers to care hold deep expertise about the effects these disparities have on their lives and are experts when it comes to articulating solutions for them.
To ensure that the dollars from the Reproductive Health Equity Fund are distributed in ways that address impacted communities’ priority needs, the Fund’s Steering Committee gathered multiple rounds of community input in 2022. This input is used by the Fund’s Steering Committee to make bold, community-informed, values-based decisions about how the Fund should be allocated.
Between March and November 2022, the Fund gathered community input from reproductive justice leaders; healthcare providers and researchers; community-based and culturally-specific organizations; and community and traditional health care workers and navigators from around the state.
Through input sessions, community experts identified the need for both immediate resources to support an increase in gaps in service and current workloads as well as the opportunity to use these funds to address needed systemic changes that prioritize programs aimed at addressing the unmet needs of communities most impacted by reproductive health care inequities.
The Reproductive Health Equity Fund provides financial support to projects, programs, and organizations focused on expanding reproductive health equity through (1) provider workforce and other care investments, (2) direct support for people seeking abortion and other reproductive services, (3) community-based outreach and education, and (4) research.
The Fund addresses Oregon’s reproductive healthcare crisis by recognizing that action is needed on two timescales: short term/immediate needs and longer-term/system change. Two distinct funding cycles have been designed to address these related challenges:
Rapid Response Grants
Providing funds to address urgent short-term and immediate needs related to barriers to reproductive healthcare, including to ease the burden on Oregon healthcare providers.
Systems Change Grants
Designed to address systemic changes needed to create a more equitable reproductive healthcare infrastructure in Oregon over the long term. These grants prioritize programs that focus on the unmet needs of communities most impacted by reproductive health care inequities.
RHEF is working on plans to design and build a coordinated abortion funding navigation network that centers the leadership of culturally specific organizations. Organizations interested in providing abortion fund navigation can signal their interest in participation by filling out this form.
Our Steering Committee represents organizations and individuals that are the closest to reproductive healthcare: abortion providers, organizations that support those seeking abortion care, community based organizations that work on reproductive healthcare disparities and advocacy, and organizations directly involved in outreach. Their role is to set the Fund’s strategy, in line with the intent of the legislature, to design and support the grantmaking process and applications, and to make final recommendations on the allocation of funds:
Danita Harris (Imagine Black); Megan Kovacs (NWAAF); Veronica Leonard (Latino Network); Marisa Mendoza (Euvalcree); Mariana Garcia Medina (ACLU); Cassie Purdy (Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon); Hayley Nunn (Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette); Jaylyn Suppah (Seeding Justice Board); Se-ah-dom Edmo (Seeding Justice)