Portland Leaders Postpone Vote on Resolution That Would Boycott Texas Over Pro-Life Law

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.
September 8, 2021 Updated: September 8, 2021

The city council in Portland, Oregon, decided not to move forward this week with a planned boycott of Texas over the state’s new law banning most abortions.

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat who is part of the council, announced Wednesday that the vote was being postponed.

“City Council is working together to best understand the impact of the emergency resolution regarding our business with Texas. We decided to postpone this item so City Council can work together to best understand the impact of this important decision,” Wheeler said in a statement.

Portland officials announced last week the intention to vote to pass the resolution, which would ban city agencies from future procurement of goods and services from Texas.

The resolution would also bar city employees from traveling to the Southern state.

The ban was going to stay in effect until Texas withdrew the law, Senate Bill 8, or it was overturned by a court, Wheeler’s office said.

The law, which went into effect on Sept. 1, forces physicians to try to detect a fetal heartbeat before carrying out an abortion.

If a heartbeat is detected, doctors are prohibited from performing an abortion, unless a medical emergency exists.

Abortion providers say up to nine out of 10 abortions are prohibited under the new law.

Heather Hafer, a spokeswoman with the Portland Office of Management and Finance, told The Oregonian that the city had agreed to nearly $35 million in contracts with businesses based in Texas in the past five years. Portland employees, meanwhile, have made 19 trips to Texas since 2019.

Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican, said on social media this week that Portland’s planned boycott “is a complete joke” before taking aim at the policies the Democrat-run city has enacted in recent years.

“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,” he wrote.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news and stories relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. He is based in Maryland.