Oregon joins fight over Texas abortion ban

City governments and organizations in Oregon are speaking out for and against the strict Texas abortion law.

Posted: Sep 5, 2021 6:41 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. — The city of Portland is joining other entities around the state and country in fighting a new and controversial abortion law in Texas.

Mayor Ted Wheeler announced Friday that city commissioners will vote on an emergency resolution this week. It would declare the city's intent to ban future trade, exchange of government services, and travel on behalf of the city to Texas.

If passed on Wednesday, the resolution would stand until Texas withdraws its ban on abortion or until the ban is overturned in court.

This all comes after the US Supreme Court ruled last week 5-4 not to strike down the Texas law, which is now is the strictest of its kind in the country.

The law bans abortions after fetal cardiac activity is detected, typically after six weeks of pregnancy. Most women don't know they are pregnant by that point. The law also does not offer exemptions for victims of rape, incest or domestic violence.

The law also incentivizes individuals to come forward and report anyone who somehow assists in getting someone access to abortion. Family members, health care providers, and even Uber drivers could face up to $10,000 in damages.

"This law does not demonstrate concern for the health, safety, and well-being of those who may become pregnant," the city of Portland's statement said. "We urge other leaders and elected bodies around the nation to join us in condemning the actions of the Texas state government."

However, anti-abortion groups around the country see the high court's decision as a victory and blueprint for future opportunity.

"Our legislative team has already been working with a couple other states on what we did differently," said Elizabeth Graham, vice president of Texas Right to Life.

Republican lawmakers in Florida and South Dakota are already looking to make similar restrictions to abortion practices.

Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) also voiced support for the Texas ban and Supreme Court decision.

"Marked an incredible pro-life victory," ORTL said on Facebook. "We as a pro-life community are celebrating the fact that countless innocent lives will get the chance to experience life outside of the womb."

The Supreme Court's decision neither endorses nor condemns the Texas ban, simply allowing the law to take effect. The court could still potentially decide on the ban's constitutionality at a later date.

In the meantime, many Democratic lawmakers have vowed to fight the Texas law.

President Joe Biden said he will make a full government effort to review the ban's legality, using health and justice departments at the federal level. He said women should have the right to choose.

"I respect those who believe life begins in the moment of conception," Biden said last week. "I don't agree with that, but I respect that."

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she will push for Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark abortion rights decision, to become federal law.

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley echoed that intent on Twitter.

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