Portland City Council members react to news that U.S. Supreme Court is expected to overturn Roe v. Wade, removing abortion rights

News Article
Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty, Mingus Mapps, Carmen Rubio and Dan Ryan issue statements about a draft U.S. Supreme Court decision removing abortion rights.

All five members of Portland's City Council issued statements about the leak of a draft decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on May 2, 2022, signaling their intent to overturn Roe v. Wade.

In 1973, the landmark Supreme Court decision established people's right to an abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy. The case was considered a milestone for women's rights.

Mayor Ted Wheeler

The leaked draft from the U.S. Supreme Court demonstrates a disregard for people to choose how to safely make healthcare decisions. I will continue to advocate for the right to choose by supporting local organizations and those impacted by this incredibly harmful revocation of human rights.

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

Reading the news made me feel sick. During this dark moment in history, it will now be up to local governments to protect our basic human rights. We saw this coming at the local level and we are prepared.

When new abortion bans first started gaining traction across the country a few years ago, I led the effort to direct our City Attorney’s office to help fight these draconian laws where needed. Following the Texas abortion ban that we knew would increase demand on our local providers, I also championed the effort led by Pro-Choice Oregon, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, and Northwest Abortion Access Fund to allocate funds to assist local providers, which was supported by four out of five members of Council.

Here is my promise, Portland: As long as I am on the Portland City Council, you will have a fierce and unequivocal champion for choice and reproductive health care. I will never waver, and I will continue to lead to protect our rights. I know millions of people across the country are feeling as sick and upset as I am right now. But I also know that if we stick together and fight back, we will win. That fight begins with preserving and expanding our rights locally.

Commissioner Mingus Mapps

As a pro-choice Democrat, I am alarmed at the potential Supreme Court decision regarding Roe V. Wade. I believe ample access to reproductive health care is a basic right in America. I will do whatever is necessary to protect people’s rights in Portland and Oregon.

Last year, I introduced an amendment to City Council’s challenge of Texas’ anti-abortion resolution. The first amendment proposed sending a letter to the Biden administration demanding that the Department of Justice challenge Texas’ law. The second, proposed sending a letter demanding our federal delegation advocate for and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act to enshrine reproductive freedom.

This potential decision could set a dangerous precedent for many other rights we take for granted. We need focused and pragmatic advocacy to protect Oregonian’s rights.

Commissioner Carmen Rubio

We are outraged, we are angry, and we are tired of the nonstop attempts by some lawmakers – and now the Supreme Court – to control women’s bodies and women’s choices. I’m proud that the Portland City Council made a strong commitment to reproductive choice last September, and to live in a city and state where our laws protect women’s rights to make safe decisions about their own bodies and their own healthcare. Thanks to the advocates and service providers across the country who courageously help women defend their own rights – and whose work will become more challenging in the months and years ahead.

Commissioner Dan Ryan

Yesterday, a leaked draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion demonstrated that the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade. Today, the Court confirmed that this opinion came from their halls. This ruling – if enacted – will be devastating for marginalized communities everywhere.

I want to be very clear: abortion is legal in Oregon, and I was proud to join Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, and Commissioner Carmen Rubio in allocating $200,000 to reproductive healthcare last fall that supports the right to abortion. We saw this coming, and we will provide a safe refuge for services. This City Council will continue to use every tool we have to protect the right to choose.  

I stand with you, Portland. I stand on the shoulders of women like my mother who fought for this right over decades. I stand hand-in-hand with every neighbor to say you are loved, your privacy is your right, your choices are your right, and we will get through this together.