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Portland City Council reacts to U.S. Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v Wade, End of Federal Right to an Abortion

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Portland City Council reacts to U.S. Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe v Wade, End of Federal Right to an Abortion

The Portland City Council stands united in our commitment to protecting abortion rights locally after today's horrendous Supreme Court Decision. Below are statements from Mayor Ted Wheeler, Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty, Dan Ryan, Carmen Rubio, and Mingus Mapps reacting to today's decision to wipe out almost 50 years of legal precedent establishing the legal right to an abortion. 

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

Unfortunately, we knew this was coming, but that doesn’t make today’s decision any less upsetting or harmful. Access to reproductive health care including abortion is fundamental to our right to control our own bodies. I have been fighting for these rights my whole life and I am not about to stop now.  

At the federal level, congress must act swiftly to codify abortion rights. Without federal protection, it will now be up to local governments to protect our basic human rights.  

We saw this coming and Portland is 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, Northwest Abortion Access Fund, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon to allocate funds to assist local providers and increase access.  

At the state level, Oregon continues to lead the nation in expanding abortion rights and access. We stand with, support, and welcome anyone across the nation in need of reproductive health care.  

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 and I will continue to work with local and national advocates to do all that we can. 

I plan to join Portlanders this evening downtown to peacefully protest this decision and hope you will join me. We will never give up this fight.

Commissioner Carmen Rubio 

We all saw it coming and now it's here. Today I'm profoundly disappointed in the Supreme Court and deeply saddened for the millions of lives this decision impacts — especially women of color and rural women. I am grateful we live in a state that upholds women's right to choose and affirms their agency over their own bodies. I am committed to supporting fellow elected leaders and abortion advocates on how we continue to protect this right in Oregon - for all who come here to get abortion health care.

Mayor Ted Wheeler

Today, I echo the feelings of millions of Americans who are devastated by the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade. While abortion access will remain legal in Oregon, this decision has a tremendous impact on people across our nation. I continue to believe that it is a constitutional right for all Americans to access reproductive care.  

Here in Portland, we will continue to support reproductive rights and defend access to safe and legal abortions. Following the Texas abortion ban last year, Portland City Council denounced the ban and provided financial support to local reproductive healthcare service providers through the Northwest Abortion Access Fund. It is time for the U.S. Congress to approve legislation to make access to abortion legal nationwide. 

Earlier today, I personally reached out to local organizations to offer my continued support and partnership. I have also directed the Portland Police Bureau to increase patrols around local reproductive health providers to ensure they are able to continue operating safely during this time. 

I am grateful to my colleagues at the State for their continued advocacy on this issue. Oregon State leadership is unmatched for their progressive action on abortion rights. Their passage of the 2017 Reproductive Health Equity Act and 2022 establishment of the Reproductive Health Equity Fund ensures Oregon has some of the most permissive reproductive rights in the nation. I also support Governor Brown’s announcement today for a multi-state commitment to defend access to reproductive healthcare alongside Washington and California. 

While it is my hope that a future Supreme Court will reevaluate this decision and restore reproductive rights on a national scale, our community will remain a safe haven for abortion access and reproductive freedom. 

I stand with the people who may one day face difficult decisions about pregnancy and respect their right to make the best decision for themselves. The City of Portland will continue to lead with compassion and be true partners in ensuring safe and legal access to all reproductive healthcare.

Commissioner Mingus Mapps

Today is a tragic day for Americans and for our right to reproductive freedom and medical privacy. With the Dobbs decision, the Supreme Court of the United States announced an overturning of 50 years of legal precedent, which provided that families had a legal right to privacy in their medical decisions. 

I unequivocally support a woman’s right to choose and for families to make the best medical decisions for themselves without government interference. The last thing Americans should want is politicians telling them what they can and cannot do with their bodies. This isn’t a states’ rights issue, it’s a human rights issue.  

The City of Portland is actively working with community partners and our partners at the State to affirm through legislative action our commitment to reproductive freedom and support gender-affirming care. To those states seeking to criminalize healthcare that is constitutionally protected in our great state of Oregon: we will not stand idly by. We welcome all people to come to our city to receive services, and we will protect that right however possible.  

I call on Congress to swiftly pass the Women’s Health Protection Act. This proactive legislation would enshrine the right to abortion in federal law.

Commissioner Dan Ryan

Today’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade is an attack on women, and it is devastating to all Americans. Abortion and reproductive healthcare are legal in Portland and the State of Oregon. We will not allow this current Supreme Court to violate human rights in our community.  

Portland City Council took action last year when we allocated funds for reproductive healthcare—we will continue to work with our local partners and serve our neighbors in states implementing abortion bans.  

Portland is a safe harbor for human rights.  

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