In the wake of last Friday’s Supreme Court decision scrapping Roe v. Wade, we’re taking a look at the state of affairs for abortion access locally, where Portland and Oregon elected officials and candidates stand and how you can get involved if you’re concerned about the ruling. We’ve got everything summed up below.
📜 The decision: On June 24, six weeks after someone leaked a draft of the decision to POLITICO, six of the Supreme Court’s nine justices struck down Roe v. Wade in their ruling in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The case had challenged Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. Though Chief Justice John Roberts joined the majority in their judgment, he called the Dobbs decision a “serious jolt to the legal system.” The court’s three liberal-leaning justices deplored the decision in their dissent, decrying its impact on Americans and the court’s reputation.
💬 What elected officials say: Portland mayor Ted Wheeler affirmed the city’s support for abortion and said he had “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.” Other officials chimed in as well, with councilor Jo Anne Hardesty saying, “I have been fighting for these rights my whole life and am not about to stop now.” Oregon’s House Republican leader, meanwhile, applauded SCOTUS for the “decision to return this issue back to the states.”
🗳 Where the candidates stand: Republican Senate candidate Jo Rae Perkins has not weighed in on the issue since the Dobbs ruling but claims to be “100% Pro-Life.” Sen. Ron Wyden, who’s up for reelection in November, decried the decision. In the gubernatorial race, Democrat Tina Kotek called the decision “bullshit,” and independent Betsy Johnson affirmed her support for abortion access in less searing terms. Republican nominee Christine Drazan called Oregon’s current laws “extreme” and vowed to row back any expansion of abortion access.
🏛 Current law says: Abortion is legal in Oregon, and the state’s laws do not place restrictions such as waiting periods on those seeking the procedure. The state’s Reproductive Health Equity Act codified and expanded access to free reproductive healthcare in 2017. A ballot measure seeking to ban public funding of abortions in Oregon was soundly defeated by voters in 2018.
🆘 Who’s helping on the ground: The Northwest Abortion Access Fund serves Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska and helps people who need an abortion in a variety of ways. The Cascades Abortion Support Collective and Planned Parentood Columbia Wilamette are both accepting donations to support work around abortion access.