Leading Pro-Choice Organizations Call for Continued Vigilance, Advocacy for Abortion Justice
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, Pro-Choice Oregon, the ACLU of Oregon, and Forward Together Action released the following joint statement in response to today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization to overturn nearly 50 years of precedent and eliminate the constitutional right to abortion:
“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an unprecedented decision overturning Roe v. Wade, rolling back the right to obtain an abortion for tens of millions of Americans. The Supreme Court’s majority opinion is oppressive, dangerous, and undemocratic. It repudiates our country’s founding principles of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and the fundamental constitutional rights of equal treatment, right to privacy, and separation of church and state. We know that people with money and power will continue to access abortion care. Who will be the most harmed? Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color, low-income and rural communities, disabled people, immigrants, young people, and the victims and survivors of sexual assault and domestic abuse.
“We believe all individuals must have autonomy to make decisions that are best for their bodies, their families, their health, their futures, and their lives. The Dobbs decision will allow states — often led by male lawmakers without wombs — to strip us of our bodily autonomy and access to abortion. Indeed, 26 states are now likely to ban or severely ban abortion, including 13 states that have ‘trigger’ laws meaning the bans or severe restrictions will start almost immediately. This will result in 36 million women of reproductive age and people who can become pregnant losing their right to an abortion and having governments force pregnancy upon them.
“In Oregon, the right to an abortion has been codified into state law because of the passion and advocacy of people across our state. This means abortion, contraceptives, and gender-affirming health care services will remain legal and available. Our state is recognized for having the most protective policies for abortion rights and access in the country. But we also know that rights are only rights if you can access them. Until the full spectrum of reproductive and gender-affirming care is available to all people in Oregon — free of cost, barriers, burdens, interference, and stigma — our work is not done.
“Oregon will not be immune from the harm caused by this decision. While the right to an abortion is safeguarded in state statute, Oregonians will still be directly harmed by the end of Roe vs. Wade. A study by The Guttmacher Institute indicates that Oregon health centers could experience a 234% increase in out-of-state patients from states like Idaho where abortion will be severely restricted 30 days after today’s decision. An analysis in The New York Times indicates that with abortion almost entirely outlawed in Idaho, eastern Oregonians could see a 35% reduction in abortion access, forced to drive hundreds of miles to providers in areas such as Bend or Portland. This year, the Oregon Legislature listened to our concerns and allocated $15 million to Seeding Justice, a nonprofit organization, to create the Reproductive Health Equity Fund. These funds will help mitigate some but not all of the harms of the Supreme Court’s decision. Our organizations will continue fighting for full reproductive justice and access for all in our state and country.
“A threat to bodily autonomy and the rights of pregnant people is a threat to us all. It is no accident that state legislatures and school boards across the nation have also been escalating their attacks on the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, particularly transgender and gender non-binary individuals. These same politicians have also come after voting rights and racial justice. These attacks on democracy, racial justice, and bodily autonomy target the same communities. This is how systemic racism and misogyny works: by taking away freedom, equality, and political power from historically-marginalized communities.
“We are proud to live in a state with leadership that believes abortion is health care, reproductive and gender-affirming health care is essential, and health care is a human right. We remain in close collaboration with Speaker Rayfield and are currently in the process of convening a broad and diverse table of providers, advocates, researchers, legal experts, and community leaders from across the state and nation to begin drafting legislation to further protect the rights of Oregonians. We will protect and expand access to reproductive and gender-affirming health services for all.”