Portland Threatens to Restrict Travel, Trade With Texas Over Controversial Abortion Law
13:39 GMT 07.09.2021 (Updated: 13:23 GMT 06.08.2022)
The new abortion law in the Lone Star State came into effect on 1 September, immediately sparking backlash over the law banning abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy, thus making an estimated 85% of all abortions in Texas illegal.
Last week, the Portland City Council announced its intention to cut trade and travel with Texas over a controversial abortion law introduced in the Lone Star State in early September.
Joining the already massive choir against the law, the city dubbed the law "unconstitutional". A vote on the resolution to restrict exchanging goods and services with Texas is expected to take place on Wednesday, with the legal aspects of the move currently being evaluated.
"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 press release said.
The City Council went on to say that the Texas legislation "does not demonstrate concern for the health, safety, and well-being of those who may become pregnant" and does not respect the human rights of these people.
The controversial Texas law, dubbed the Texas Heartbeat Act, went into effect on 1 September, after the Supreme Court declined to block the legislation. Aside from making abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy illegal - a time period when a majority of women do not even know they are pregnant - the law also imposes penalties on those doctors and clinics that fail to comply with the new restrictions and provide abortion services after the said time period.
The US Justice Department has voiced its intention to assist
abortion clinics and reproductive health centres "under attack" due to the new law.
"We will not tolerate violence against those seeking to obtain or provide reproductive health services, physical obstruction or property damage in violation of the [Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances] FACE Act", US Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Monday.
The abortion law also does not make exceptions for cases of incest or rape, only allowing terminations after the sixth week in the event of a medical emergency - a point that only intensified the massive condemnation of the legislation. Among the critics is US President Joe Biden, who pledged a "whole of government" response to the Texas Heartbeat Act, joining those slamming the legislation
for violating freedom of choice.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott, however, argued that "no freedom is more precious than life itself", asserting that the law protects "every unborn child with a heartbeat from [the] ravages of abortion".