Idahoans among many crossing into Washington for abortion care

SPOKANE, Wash. — A growing number of out-of-state women are traveling to Washington to receive reproductive healthcare. This surge in patients comes amidst numerous abortion trigger laws scheduled to go into effect this week.

“We’re already seeing an impact in Eastern Washington,” said Paul Dillon, Vice President of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood of Greater Washington and North Idaho. “Especially in Spokane, Spokane Valley, and Pullman.”

Dillon referenced a surge of Idahoans visiting the Pullman Health Center since Idaho’s trigger law was announced. In June, Idahoans made up 62% of all abortion patient visits at the Pullman facility.

In July, that number surged to 80 percent.

“We’re already seeing an increase in patients and we’ve been preparing,” said Dillon. “We’ve been training providers, we’ve been increasing our operations capacity.”

These patients aren’t exclusively traveling from Idaho.

“We’ve seen patients here in Spokane from Texas, Florida, and around the country.”

Many are traveling from states where comparably restrictive abortion laws have been, or are in the process of being enacted.

To manage this surge of out-of-state patients, they’ve hired a patient navigator. Their role is to assist patients with the logistics of arriving in Washington for treatment; including transportation and lodging.

“We will absolutely make sure that patients can get the care that they need in Washington state,” said Dillon. “And we’re going to keep doing everything we can to protect access to care here in Washington.”