PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The U.S. Supreme Court ruled to overturn the landmark 1972 decision Roe v. Wade that protected the federal right to abortion.
The ruling in Dobb’s v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ended nearly 50 years of federally protected access to abortion.
States can now make individual decisions with bans expected in roughly half of the 50 states. Oregon and Washington, however, previously legalized abortion.
Oregon’s Reproductive Health Equity Act was passed in 2017, which structured Roe v. Wade into state law. The state does not require waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or restrictions on publicly funded abortions.
Gov. Kate Brown announced Oregon joined Washington and California in a Multi-State Commitment that protects reproductive health care. The three governors declared they would protect both patients and doctors if attempts are made to enforce abortion bans in their states.
In a statement released shortly after the decision, U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer said Oregon is the only state where abortion is fully protected. He commended Planned Parenthood Oregon’s preparation for the influx of women seeking abortion care that is expected in the coming months.
Reaction from state and local leaders:
- Gov. Kate Brown: “Let me be clear: You cannot ban abortion, you can only ban safe abortions — and this disgraceful Supreme Court decision will undoubtedly put many people’s lives at risk, in addition to stripping away a constitutional right that disproportionately affects women and has been settled law for most of our lifetimes.”
- U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley released a statement saying, “When you have to make the most intimate, personal decisions that will impact your life and your health and body, I don’t know anyone who wants some politician in the room. Yet, that is exactly the impact of this Supreme Court opinion for millions and millions of Americans, who suddenly find an overbearing government dictating their path. This assault on Americans’ rights and freedom is shocking.”
He warned the decision will spark “very real and dangerous consequences” across the nation.
- U.S. Congressman Earl Blumenauer said: “The ability to decide when, how, and with whom to have a child is deeply important. That decision is a personal one, and one that should be decided by an individual in consultation with their doctor and family, not an ideological Supreme Court.”
- Rep. Cliff Bentz of Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District Tweeted about the ruling, calling it a “momentous decision.” “Every human life is sacred,” Bentz’s Tweet read.
- Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici condemned the decision in her release, calling it “infuriating, heartbreaking, and dangerous.”
“I remember the days before Roe v. Wade, when abortions done without medical care could have tragic outcomes – including death. The decision today undermines decades of hard-fought protections for reproductive health and the right to determine when and whether to have a child. Make no mistake, overturning Roe v. Wade will not end abortions; it will make them unsafe. This decision will disproportionately hurt families and individuals who are already struggling, and, unfortunately, it will embolden many states to restrict access to the care people need.”
- U.S. Congressman Kurt Schrader: ” History has shown that restrictions lead to the proliferation of unsafe abortions, a tragic choice for every woman who is forced into making such a decision.
Schrader upheld that women, no matter their zip code, should have a right to make individual health care decisions during these “dark and turbulent times.”
- Rep. Peter DeFazio of Oregon’s 4th Congressional District denounced the decision and called for Congress to codify rights to abortion access.
“Today is a devastating day,” DeFazio said in a statement.
“Let me be clear: the government has no place in deciding for a woman what she chooses to do with her own body,” he said. “The difficult decision to end a pregnancy, for whatever reason, is an intensely personal decision that can only be made by a woman and her spouse, companion, minister, physician, or whatever counsel she chooses, after considering all the available options and her unique circumstance.”
- U.S. Senator Ron Wyden called the decision “radical” and warned “the anti-abortion movement won’t stop here. What’s next is the criminalization of abortion – women and doctors in jail, or worse.”
- Secretary of State Shemia Fagan: “While our rights are protected in Oregon, today’s decision will have devastating consequences around the country. This is a difficult day and many of us are concerned for our communities and our children. We are in this together though. I’ve been in this struggle to support access to abortion and I’ll continue to be no matter what.”
She continued with a reminder that abortion remains legal in Oregon and those living in other parts of the country can travel here to get an abortion.
- House Speaker Dan Rayfield: “This will go down as an incredibly dark day in American history. Let’s be clear about the stakes: The extreme Dobbs decision will make women and individuals across the country less safe. It will harm millions of people, most specifically people of color and low-income individuals, and worsen existing inequality.”
- House Majority Leader Julie Fahey tweeted “My generation has never known a world where we did not have the right to a safe, legal abortion. Until today.”
- Oregon House Republican Leader Vikki Breese-Iverson released a statement saying “I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to return this issue back to the states. Oregon continues to have some of the most extreme abortion laws in the country.” Breese-Iverson added “abortion should be rare. I hope today’s decision starts a larger conversation in Oregon that includes educated decisions for women. I see this as a good starting place for spirited debate in the 2023 Legislative Session.”
- Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in part, “While abortion access will remain legal in Oregon, this decision has a tremendous impact on people across our nation. I continue to believe that it is a constitutional right for all Americans to access reproductive care. Here in Portland, we will continue to support reproductive rights and defend access to safe and legal abortions.”
He added that Portland will remain “a safe haven for abortion access and reproductive freedom.”
- Portland City Commissioner Carmen Rubio: “Today I’m profoundly disappointed in the Supreme Court, and deeply saddened for the millions of lives this decision impacts — especially women of color and rural women. I am grateful we live in a state that upholds women’s right to choose and affirms their agency over their own bodies.”
- Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty called for Congress to codify abortion right. She released the following statement: “Unfortunately, we knew this was coming, but that doesn’t make today’s decision any less upsetting or harmful. Access to reproductive health care including abortion is fundamental to our right to control our own bodies. I have been fighting for these rights my whole life and I am not about to stop now.”
- Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps echoed calls to codify access to abortion and promised the city would do what it can to enshrine reproductive rights. He released the following statement: “The City of Portland is actively working with community partners and our partners at the State to affirm through legislative action our commitment to reproductive freedom and support gender-affirming care. To those states seeking to criminalize healthcare that is constitutionally protected in our great state of Oregon: we will not stand idly by. We welcome all people to come to our city to receive services, and we will protect that right however possible.”
- Portland City Commissioner Dan Ryan described the ruling as an “attack on women.” He released the following statement: “Today’s Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade is an attack on women, and it is devastating to all Americans. Abortion and reproductive healthcare are legal in Portland and the State of Oregon. We will not allow this current Supreme Court to violate human rights in our community.”
- The Multnomah County Board of Commissioners: “We unanimously and strongly condemn this decision, which is poised to undo so much of the progress that the right to abortion has allowed us to make toward women’s ability to participate fully and equally in society.”
- Planned Parenthood noted that the “devastating” decision will greatly impact those that already have limited access to health, including the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, along with people making low incomes or living in rural areas.
CEO of Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates Jennifer M. Allen. said, “Make no mistake – this decision goes beyond abortion. This is about who has power over you, who has the authority to make decisions for you, and who can control your future.”
- Pro-Choice Oregon: “People’s lives don’t stop at borders, and Oregonians will not be immune from the harm caused by this decision. With our partners, we will be doing everything we can to mitigate the fallout from bans in neighboring states like Idaho.”
The organization reiterated similar statements as SoS Fagan, reminding Oregonians that abortion, contraceptives, and gender-affirming care remains legal and available in the state.
- Basic Rights Oregon: “As crushing as today’s ruling is, it’s important to know that in Oregon, our rights are not in immediate danger. LGBTQ2SIA+ Oregonians have the same rights today that they had yesterday. Basic Rights Oregon, our partner organizations, and our advocates in state government are working to ensure that remains true regardless of any Supreme Court ruling.”
- The Oregon Education Association called the decision a “devastating blow” to family planning and privacy rights.
OEA President said Reed Scott-Schwalbach, ““OEA believes that family planning and reproductive health decisions should be left to individuals, and that our members have a right to privacy in decisions they make about how and when they choose to create and raise a family.”
- Nike: “Nike offers comprehensive family planning benefits. No matter where our teammates are on their family planning journey – from contraception and abortion coverage, to pregnancy and family-building support through fertility, surrogacy and adoption benefits – we are here to support their decisions.”
Nike stated the company will cover travel and lodging expenses “in situations where services are not available close to home,” and say it will regularly make adjustments to benefits, ensuring employees have access to quality healthcare.