The Portland City Council is poised to take a stand against the new Texas abortion law Wednesday by considering a resolution that will ban official travel to and from the state. In a statement, Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office said the Texas law will force “people to carry pregnancies against their will.”
The emergency resolution, if passed, will ban “future travel, goods and services from the state of Texas until the unconstitutional ban on abortion is withdrawn or overturned in court,” reads a Friday press release from Wheeler’s office.
The Texas law, which went into effect last week, prohibits abortion around the sixth week of pregnancy in most circumstances. It has been dubbed the “heartbeat” law because, under the law, abortions cannot take place once “cardiac activity or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart within the gestational sac” can be detected.
Democratic lawmakers have been up in arms over the law, particularly after the Supreme Court decided 5-4 against blocking it from going into effect. A number of Democrats have voiced opposition to the law’s enforcement mechanism, which allows private parties to file lawsuits against those who “aid and abet” in abortion services.
“This provision is a cynical, backdoor attempt by partisan lawmakers to evade the Constitution and the law to destroy not only a woman’s right to health care but potentially any right or protection that partisan lawmakers target,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) in a statement Thursday, after the Supreme Court refused to block the law.
She said lawmakers will, when the session resumes, vote on the pro-abortion bill known as the “Women’s Health Protection Act.” According to National Review, the bill would “establish a federal right to abortion through all nine months of pregnancy if a single doctor asserted the abortion was necessary to protect the mental and emotional health of a woman seeking an abortion.”
Portland, it seems, will vote Wednesday to take a similar stand against the law. The mayor’s office has called on other localities to take similar actions against the state of Texas.
“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,” said Wheeler’s office.
“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,” said the statement.
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