With the pandemic, current volunteers are still giving rides, but home stays have been on pause – Gray hopes to resume them in the next month or so, when they can do so safely. For now, volunteers help pay for and book hotel rooms instead, which can cost $400 or $500, she says, depending how many days a person needs to stay for the procedure.
With the added costs of a plane ticket, a babysitter, and lost work hours, the total logistical costs of getting an abortion can exceed a few thousand dollars. As patient volumes have grown, volunteer networks and nonprofits can't keep up with the growing demand.
Every time a person from out of state makes an appointment, one of the clinic's abortion navigators calls them to see if they need help with travel, Martinez says. The navigators can arrange reimbursement for some expenses, but not for everyone who calls, and only up to $500 for each patient.
State lawmakers' proposed Abortion Practical Support Fund would help by providing grants to nonprofits like Access Reproductive Justice or Planned Parenthood, which can then be used to help people, in state and out-of-state, pay for logistical costs, including airfare, taxis, gas money, childcare, or translation services. They can also be used to fund the work of staffers such as abortion navigators, or volunteer coordinators like Gray.
Local anti-abortion activists oppose the proposal.
"We're calling it 'abortion tourism,'" says Greg Burt, a Sacramento-based advocate with the California Family Council. "Come to California, go to the beach, get your abortion done and we'll pay for it, by the taxpayer."
He says he wishes the state would put more money into removing the obstacles to having a child, rather than focusing on clearing the obstacles to abortion.
"Those incentives send a message that we value one more than the other," Burt says.
Nearly 80 percent of Californians have said they're opposed to overturning Roe v. Wade, according to an October poll. At the mall in San Francisco in June, KQED interviewed shoppers, and similarly found that a large majority thought it was a good idea for the state to use their tax dollars to help women from other states come here for abortion care.
"I think it's okay, because what if a woman would get raped?" said Latasha Johnson, 44, referring to some laws in other states that would prohibit abortion even in cases of rape or incest.
"Setting aside taxpayer money is really important to ensure safe abortions for people," explained Caroline Fong, 19, a college student who, in the fall, will return to her campus in Missouri — one of 13 states with a so-called trigger law set to automatically ban abortion after the Supreme Court decision.
"If we can help, we should," said Howard Dixon, 60. He added that government "wastes a lot of money anyway. So I would like to think that a little bit of my money is going towards a good cause."
Two people did not like the idea.
"We do not agree with that," said Joe Bacan, 44, a construction worker, speaking in Spanish. "We believe in protecting life."
His wife, Claudia Sanchez, 49, added: "There are a lot of things we could invest in that would be better than that."
The proposed fund, detailed in Senate Bill 1142, is one of 13 bills moving through the state legislature aimed at making California an abortion sanctuary state.
Lee Mitchell supports all of these legislative and philanthropic efforts, but she wants to be personally involved, in a hands-on way. She's fueled by imagining what it might have been like back when she was 20, if only her future self, or someone like that, had picked her up at the airport.
"I would have liked it. I think I probably would have opened up to the person, to the 75 year-old Lee," she says. "I don't know if everybody would have. I would have."
Seasoned advocates like Tricia Gray say the simple act of driving someone to the clinic, chatting about the traffic, or ordering them Thai food can be life-changing for the person seeking abortion care and for the volunteer.
"It's transformative because of the simplicity," Gray says. "It's very revolutionary to just give someone a ride and say, 'We got your back. We can't solve it all, but at least we can solve this.'"