Two Democratic senators proposed a program Thursday that would spend $350 million per year over five fiscal years to help women travel out of state to receive an abortion.
Sens. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin and Patty Murray of Washington are spearheading the proposed legislation, titled the Reproductive Health Travel Fund Act, which would designate $350 million per year towards a five-fiscal-year grant program. The program would last from fiscal year (FY) 2023 through FY 2027 to cost a total of $1.75 billion.
“In overturning Roe and passing one extreme state abortion ban after the next, Republicans have unleashed a full-fledged health care crisis that is jeopardizing women’s health and forcing them to stay pregnant against their will,” Murray said. “This moment calls for bold solutions — and that’s why I’ve proposed creating a new, historic abortion fund and why I’m proud to cosponsor Senator Baldwin’s bill to help get women the abortion care they need.”
The Treasury Secretary would distribute the money to nonprofit organizations, which would then assist women in their travels to receive in abortion. The funds are intended for women who live in states with more stringent abortion restrictions, enabling them to access states with less severe restrictions.
The money would not cover the cost of the abortion itself, but would cover travel, meals, lodging and additional costs such as childcare and post-procedure care.