Portland to Ban Travel to, Trade With Texas in Protest of New Anti-Abortion 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 6, 2021 Updated: September 6, 2021

City officials in Portland, Oregon, plan to ban travel to Texas over the southern state’s recently enacted anti-abortion law.

Portland’s City Council is scheduled to vote Sept. 8 on an emergency motion that would ban the city from procuring goods or services from Texas, in addition to blocking city workers from traveling there.

“The ban will be in effect until the state of Texas withdraws its unconstitutional ban on abortion or until it is overturned in court,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in a statement.

“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.”

The Texas law, which went into effect on Sept. 1, requires doctors to try to detect a fetal heartbeat before an abortion is performed. If a heartbeat is detected, doctors are prohibited from ending a pregnancy, unless they deem not doing so would threaten the pregnant mother’s life.

Abortion providers say between 85 percent and 90 percent of all abortions in Texas are blocked by the new law.

State officials aren’t allowed to enforce the provisions. Instead, private citizens can bring lawsuits against doctors who allegedly violate the provisions or people who allegedly aid and abet illegal abortions.

“This law does not demonstrate concern for the health, safety, and well-being of those who may become pregnant,” Wheeler’s office said. “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.”

In addition to Wheeler, the council is made up of commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty, Carmen Rubio, Mingus Mapps, and Dan Ryan. All are Democrats.

Texas Sen. Bryan Hughes, a Republican who was the chief sponsor of the new law, Senate Bill 8, didn’t immediately respond to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

The Republican-controlled Texas Legislature approved the bill, which was signed into law by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, earlier this year.

Abortion providers sued over the law, but the measure remains in place for now after the Supreme Court ruled the providers didn’t carry their burden to get a preliminary injunction.

Two lower courts, however, have blocked Texas Right to Life and persons affiliated with the group from suing certain doctors or people under the law.

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