News Sep 5, 2021 6:27 PM EST

Portland to consider banning travel, trade with Texas in protest of abortion law

Portland City Council has announced intent to ban travel to and trade with the state of Texas over its abortion law.

Portland to consider banning travel, trade with Texas in protest of abortion law
Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

In response to the Texas Heartbeat Act which was effective Sept. 1 after the Supreme Court ruled against blocking the controversial abortion law, the Portland City Council in Oregon is considering an emergency resolution that would ban travel and trade with the Lone Star State.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in an official press statement released on Friday that the city council will hold a vote on the resolution Wednesday, which would ban Portland's "future procurement of goods and services from, and City employee business travel to, the state of Texas."

"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," wrote Wheeler. "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."

The Texas Heartbeat Act bans abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which usually occurs around six weeks of gestation. Abortion rights activists argue that many women do not know they are pregnant by that point.

"Late Wednesday night, the Supreme Court declined to block a Texas law banning abortions after only 6 weeks of pregnancy. This 5-4 decision allows Texas to outlaw an estimated 85% of all abortion procedures in the state," wrote Wheeler.

The Supreme Court ruled last week to reject an emergency request to block the abortion law in Texas, with Chief Justice Roberts, Justices Breyer, Sotomayor, and Kagan voting in dissent.

"This 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," Wheeler continues.

The Texas law also allows civil lawsuits against those suspected of performing or aiding in a woman receiving an illegal abortion. A whistleblower website put up by the "Texas Right to Life" pro-life group has since been targeted by abortion activists, receiving a flood of spam and false tips in an apparent coordinated attempt to bog the site down with fake data in order to defeat its purpose.

"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," wrote Wheeler.

"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," Wheeler concluded in the press release.

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