Portland wants to ban all imports from Texas after the state passed the strictest abortion law in the entire country.
Mayor Ted Wheeler plans to take up an emergency resolution on September 8, to ban all goods and services from the Lone Star state. If the resolution is approved, the ban would stay in place until the abortion law is overturned in court or Texas withdraws it.
‘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 council said in a statement.
‘The… 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 move comes after Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a bill into law on Wednesday that bans abortions after six weeks under the Heartbeat Law.
Most women do not realize they are pregnant until six weeks or later. The law effects up to 85 per cent of abortions for the seven million childbearing-age Texan women.
Mayor Ted Wheeler (pictured) plans to take up an emergency resolution on September 8, to ban all goods and services from the Lone Star state
The Supreme Court voted against blocking the Texas law that allows private citizens to start suing people and organization who perform abortions on Wednesday. Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Stephen Breyer, Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan dissented. The other justices – all appointed by Republican presidents – allowed the law to stand. From left: Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh, Clarence Thomas, Elena Kagan, John Roberts, Neil Gorsuch, Stephen Breyer, Amy Coney Barrett, and Sonia Sotomayor
Portland argues that the Supreme Court ruled to protect legal and safe abortions in Roe v. Wade and the City of Portland will vote to block Texas goods until the state reverses its abortion law.
In addition to blocking goods and services, the city is also imposing to stop sending their city employees to Texas on business.
The city wrote: ‘The ban will be in effect until the state of Texas withdraws its unconstitutional ban on abortion or until it is overturned in court.
Women protested outside of the Texas Capitol on Wednesday against the law that banned abortions as early as six weeks. They dressed in ‘Ban off our bodies’ shirts and bandanas
Among the Texan pro-choice woman, the City of Portland is calling other cities and states to join them in protesting the Lone Star state’s law by not allowing Texan goods in until the state lifts the ban
Wheeler and city officials are concerned for the health and safety of pregnant women and protecting the individual right to access safe abortions. They believe in the right that women can control their own bodies and make choices they feel is best for them.
‘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.
‘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.
‘We stand with Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Elena Kagan, Justice Stephen Breyer, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who fought to block this attack on the reproductive rights, freedom, and autonomy of people across the country,’ they wrote in a statement.
Portland is asking other cities and states to join them in protest against the Texas law.
‘We urge other leaders and elected bodies around the nation to join us in condemning the actions of the Texas state government.’
Rideshare companies Lyft and Uber also also joining women in protesting the new law. The companies will pay 100 per cent of driver’s legal fees if they are sued for transporting a pregnant woman to an abortion
The Texas abortion law has been in effect since Wednesday and drew a crowd of protesters outside the Texas Capitol in Austin.
Bound in ‘Ban off our bodies’ shirts and bandanas, a group of women protest the controversial law.
Texas has the strictest abortion bill in the country and this is how it affects women
Texas passed the strictest abortion law that went into effect on Wednesday.
It affects up to 85 per cent of abortions and is now forcing Texan women to seek abortions out of state.
The law bans abortion once a heartbeat is discovered – normally around six weeks of pregnancy.
Many women do not know they are pregnant at this moment.
Most women don’t know they are pregnant until they realized they have missed their period, meaning it can take up to four weeks – even longer for those who have irregular periods.
This leaves women with very little time to discover they’re pregnant and make a decision about the path of their pregnancy.
The law does not make exceptions for rape or incest, but does for medical reasons that could lead to the mother’s death.
Private citizens can sue those who perform abortions in the state, but not the patient.
Plaintiffs with no connection to the patient may sue and recover legal fees, as well as $10,000 if they win their case.
Source: The New York Times
Women outside the Texas Capitol were protesting the six-week ban as more and more clinics outside of Texas were fielding calls from desperate women.
One clinic in central Texas, Whole Woman’s Health, performed 67 abortions in just 17 hours before the law was enacted.
Pregnant Texans flocked to the clinic, which was open and ready to perform abortions up until 11.59pm on Tuesday, in order to get an legal and safe abortion in this home state before the ban was enacted and they would have to travel outside state lines.
Under even more controversy, the law isn’t enforced by the state but by Texas’s own private citizens.
The law that took effect Wednesday allows any private citizen to sue Texas abortion providers who violate the law, as well as anyone who ‘aids or abets’ a woman getting the procedure.
The statute, which survived a Supreme Court challenge, sets minimum damages of $10,000 per banned abortion, to be paid out to the first person to prevail in a suit over the procedure.
Abortion patients themselves cannot be sued, but the ‘aiding and abetting’ clause is broad, and might even apply to a cab driver who knowingly takes a woman to get a banned abortion.
By handing off enforcement to private citizens, Texas avoided the legal pitfalls that doomed similar efforts in other states – but critics say that the move amounts to a hack of the legal system.
‘The most pernicious thing about the Texas law it sort of creates a vigilante system where people get rewards,’ President Joe Biden said on Friday. ‘I know this sounds ridiculous. It’s almost un-American what we’re talking about.’
Known as the Heartbeat Act, the Texas law bans abortions after ultrasounds can detect a fetal heartbeat, which can occur as early as six weeks.
The abortion ban makes medical exceptions to save the life of the mother, but allows no exemptions for cases of rape or incest.
The new law allows anyone to bring a suit against abortion providers, regardless of whether they have been personally harmed.
Rideshare companies Lyft and Uber are protesting the law but funding their driver’s legal fees.
Ridesharing companies Lyft and Uber have vowed to cover 100 percent of their drivers’ legal fees if they get sued for transporting women to abortion appointments.
The ride-sharing giants both announced the creation of legal funds Friday with Lyft’s CEO Logan Green saying the new law ‘threatens to punish drivers for getting people where they need to go – especially women exercising their right to choose.’
Roe v. Wade: The landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion in America
In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court recognized a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion in Roe v. Wade. The landmark ruling legalized abortion nationwide but divided public opinion and has been under attack ever since.
The case was filed in 1971 by Norma McCorvey, a 22-year-old living in Texas who was unmarried and seeking a termination of her unwanted pregnancy.
Because of state legislation preventing abortions unless the mother’s life is at risk, she was unable to undergo the procedure in a safe and legal environment.
So McCorvey sued Henry Wade, the Dallas county district attorney, in 1970. The case went on to the Supreme Court, under the filing Roe vs Wade, to protect McCorvey’s privacy.
Supreme Court Decision
The Supreme Court handed down the watershed 7-2 decision that a woman’s right to make her own medical decisions, including the choice to have an abortion, is protected under the 14th Amendment.
In particular, that the Due Process Clause of the the 14th Amendment provides a fundamental ‘right to privacy’ that protects a woman’s liberty to choose whether or not to have an abortion.
…nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law
The landmark ruling saw abortions decriminalized in 46 states, but under certain specific conditions which individual states could decide on. For example, states could decide whether abortions were allowed only during the first and second trimester but not the third (typically beyond 28 weeks).
Among pro-choice campaigners, the decision was hailed as a victory which would mean fewer women would become seriously – or even fatally – ill from abortions carried out by unqualified or unlicensed practitioners. Moreover, the freedom of choice was considered a significant step in the equality fight for women in the country. Victims of rape or incest would be able to have the pregnancy terminated and not feel coerced into motherhood.
However, pro-lifers contended it was tantamount to murder and that every life, no matter how it was conceived, is precious. Though the decision has never been overturned, anti-abortionists have prompted hundreds of states laws since then narrowing the scope of the ruling.
One such was the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act signed by President George W. Bush in 2003, which banned a procedure used to perform second-trimester abortions.
McCorvey lived a quiet life until the 1980s when she revealed herself to be Jane Roe
Norma McCorvey (Jane Roe)
Following the ruling, McCorvey lived a quiet life until the 1980s when she revealed herself to be Jane Roe. McCorvey became a leading, outspoken pro-abortion voice in American discourse, even working at a women’s clinic where abortions were performed.
However, she performed an unlikely U-turn in 1995, becoming a born again Christian and began traveling the country speaking out against the procedure.
In 2003, a she filed a motion to overturn her original 1973 ruling with the U.S. district court in Dallas. The motion moved through the courts until it was ultimately denied by the Supreme Court in 2005.
McCorvey died at an assisted living home in Texas in February 2017, aged 69.
‘The Heartbeat bill’
Multiple governors have signed legislation outlawing abortion if a doctor can detect a so-called ‘fetal heartbeat,’ part of a concerted effort to restrict abortion rights in states across the country.
Under the ban doctors will be prosecuted for flouting the rules.
Abortion-rights supporters see the ‘heartbeat bills’ as virtual bans because ‘fetal heartbeats’ can be detected as early as six weeks, when women may not be aware they are pregnant.
Anti-abortion campaigners have intensified their efforts since Donald Trump was elected president and appointed two conservative justices to the US Supreme Court, hopeful they can convince the right-leaning court to re-examine Roe v. Wade.
Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, and Louisiana have enacted ‘heartbeat laws’ recently, and Alabama passed an even more restrictive version in May, amounting to a near total ban on abortion from the moment of conception. Other states have similar legislation pending.
Similar laws has also been passed in Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, Iowa and Kentucky, though they have been blocked by courts from going into effect as legal challenges have been brought against them.