Portland is breaking connections in protest of Texas’ abortion law.
Last week, Texas state government passed a new law that bans all abortions after six weeks of pregnancy. In addition, the law allows private citizens to sue anyone who attempts to receive, administer, or even indirectly assist with an abortion (such as an Uber driver driving a woman to a medical center). Both citizens and governmental authorities around the country have condemned the Texas state government for passing this extremely restrictive bill, and have made their protests known in different ways.
On Friday, Ted Wheeler, Mayor of Portland, Oregon, announced that the City Council would be voting this coming Wednesday on an emergency measure that would halt all trade with Texas, as well as bar city employees from travelling there.
“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,” Wheeler said.
“We urge other leaders and elected bodies around the nation to join us in condemning the actions of the Texas state government,” he added.
Attorney General Merrick Garland, speaking on behalf of the Justice Department, pledged to protect the reproductive rights of all citizens. This would be accomplished through the FACE Act, which in official terms, “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.”
“While the Justice Department urgently explores all options to challenge Texas SB8 in order to protect the constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion,” Garland said in a statement, “we will continue to protect those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services pursuant to our criminal and civil enforcement of the FACE Act. … We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage.”
Some citizens have taken matters into their own hands in fighting back against the law. When anti-abortion rights group Texas Right to Life created a tip site that would allow people to anonymously accuse anyone of seeking an abortion, TikTok users responded by flooding the service with false claims and memes until it crashed.