City authorities in Portland, Oregon, will be voting this week on an emergency resolution that would ban the obtaining by the city of any and all goods and services from the state of Texas in protest of the imposition of a restrictive new anti-abortion law in that state. The resolution would also block any business-related travel by city employees to and from Texas.
The controversial new Texas law outlaws almost all abortions after some six weeks of pregnancy, at which point many don’t even know that they’re pregnant. Ghoulishly, the law also includes provisions allowing for lawsuits by private citizens against those suspected of helping with the obtaining of an illegal abortion. Should such a lawsuit prove its claim, then the person who brought it is entitled to at least $10,000 — essentially setting up a bounty system in the state targeting those who may seek to assist with the carrying out of pregnant people’s reproductive rights. Struggles over this law already went up to the U.S. Supreme Court, but — with five justices in favor and four opposed — the court allowed the restrictions to remain in effect, for now.
It sounds as though the Portland resolution targeting Texas may pass, because a press release from the office of Mayor Ted Wheeler insisted that the “Portland City Council stands unified in its belief that all people should have the right to choose if and when they carry a pregnancy and that the decisions they make are complex, difficult, and unique to their circumstances.” That press release also stated as follows:
‘The ban will be in effect until the state of Texas withdraws its unconstitutional ban on abortion or until it is overturned in court. City legal counsel is currently evaluating the legal aspects of this proposed resolution… This [Texas] law does not demonstrate concern for the health, safety, and well-being of those who may become pregnant. This law does not recognize or show respect for the human rights of those who may become pregnant. This law rewards private individuals for exercising surveillance and control over others’ bodies. It violates the separation of church and state. And, it will force people to carry pregnancies against their will… Portland City Council stands with the people who may one day face difficult decisions about pregnancy, and we respect their right to make the best decision for themselves.’
The press release also said that local officials “urge other leaders and elected bodies around the nation to join us in condemning the actions of the Texas state government.” At the federal level, officials including President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and Attorney General Merrick Garland have all already made it known that federal action to protect the abortion rights of people in Texas is very much on the table. Read more regarding Portland’s action at this link.