Portland, Oregon, To Vote on Banning City Business With Texas Over Abortion Law

Kimberly Redmond  |

Video source: YouTube, KENS 5: Your San Antonio News Source

The Portland, Oregon, city council is expected to vote next week on a proposal to halt trade and travel with the state of Texas in response to the Lone Star State’s controversial new law that effectively bans abortion.

In a statement Friday, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, said the governing body will consider an emergency resolution on whether or not to ban trading goods and services with Texas, as well as barring city employee business travel to the state.

“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,” he said.

The vote was initially scheduled for Sept. 8 but was delayed until Sept. 15

If passed, Portland’s ban would stay in effect until Texas withdraws the law or it gets overturned in court.

Wheeler urged other leaders and elected representatives around the country to “join us in condemning the actions of the Texas state government.”

“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,” he said on Friday.

“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,” Wheeler stated.

On Monday, Texas Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a former talk show host on conservative radio, slammed Portland’s proposed boycott, calling it “a complete joke.” 

In a tweet, Patrick wrote of Portland, “A city led by depraved officials allows lawlessness, putting their citizens in grave danger. A boycott will hurt them, not us. Texas’ economy is stronger than ever. We value babies and police, they don’t.”

The Oregonian newspaper noted that it is unclear what, if any, real impact the proposed boycott might have on business conducted by the city of Portland. 

Texas’s new law, which was signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in May, went into effect last Wednesday after the US Supreme Court declined to block the law in a 5-4 vote.

The measure made it illegal to obtain or provide an abortion after fetal cardiac activity is detected, which is typically about six weeks into a pregnancy and often before many women are even aware they are pregnant.

The law also enables private citizens to sue anyone they believe has helped a woman violate the law. Plaintiffs can recover up to $10,000 in statutory damages for every procedure they successfully report.

The law has drawn praise from many conservatives, including Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a staunch Trump loyalist, who called it “interesting” and said he was “going to look more significantly at it.” 

It has also sparked nationwide backlash from elected officials, activists and companies, including GoDaddy Inc, Lyft Inc, Uber Technologies Inc, Bumble and Match. 

President Joe Biden has also spoken out, calling the Texas law “almost un-American” and pledged to work with the US Justice Department to fight against it. 

According to US Attorney General Merrick Garland, federal prosecutors are exploring options to challenge the law, but for now the Justice Department is committed to protecting "those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE [Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances] Act.“

“The FACE Act prohibits the use or threat of force and physical obstruction that injures, intimidates or interferes with a person seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services," said Garland.

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Source: Equities News

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