Oregon Reproductive Health Justice and Rights Groups Respond to Leaked SCOTUS Draft Decision Overturning Abortion Rights
Advocates in Oregon from Forward Together Action, Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon and Pro-Choice Oregon PAC released the following statement in response to the unprecedented leak of the draft majority opinion from the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and Casey vs. Planned Parenthood:
“Oregonians should know today that abortion is still legal. It remains a constitutional right throughout the United States, and we are protected here in Oregon by state law. Regardless of this leaked decision, or the final ruling, abortion will remain legal and accessible in our state,” said An Do, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon. “Oregon has the fewest legal restrictions in place for individuals seeking abortion care — that’s because in Oregon, we trust pregnant people to make the best decisions for themselves and their families and elect leaders committed to protecting reproductive freedom and health care.”
Christel Allen, Executive Director of Pro-Choice Oregon PAC, said: “The leaked decision is not final yet. However, we have known that the day when abortion access would be challenged at the Supreme Court is coming. This is not a surprise. Abortion access has been systematically under attack in this country for decades by anti-abortion politicians passing laws and stacking courts, and if it wasn’t this decision, it would have been one of a dozen other cases making their way through the courts.”
For years, Oregon has taken important steps to protect abortion care. Reproductive rights and justice advocates across the state have worked tirelessly to elect pro-choice candidates up and down the ticket, and pushed for the strongest measures possible to expand access including:
- Codifying abortion rights into state law.
- Expanding access to those who had been categorically denied due to immigration status, gender identity or geographic location.
- Investing $15 million in the Reproductive Health Equity Fund to address longstanding health disparities and ensure resources are available to those who may be impacted by the loss of federal abortion protections.
Advocates underscore the importance of electing pro-choice leaders who share their commitment to advancing reproductive justice, while also noting that the Supreme Court’s tentative decision is wildly out of step with public opinion. A recent Gallup poll shows that 80% of the American public want abortion to stay legal. The impending Supreme Court decision will have an impact on communities nationwide. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion once Roe is overturned; 13 states — including Idaho — already have laws in place that could immediately go into effect.
“This decision could mean that half the people in this country would live in a state where they no longer have power over their own bodies and their own lives. Black, Latino, Indigenous and other people of color disproportionately feel the effects of abortion bans and restrictions, a product of this country’s legacy of racism and discrimination,” said Kalpana Krishnamurthy, state director of Forward Together Action.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, Oregon could experience a potential 234% increase in people traveling to the state depending upon the bans that go into effect, creating added barriers for people seeking abortion care locally. Eastern Oregonians who rely on Boise and Meridian as the closest health centers could see an up to a 35% decrease in access to care.
Reflecting on the upcoming election, Do stated: “State and local elections matter now more than ever. We deserve elected officials and judges who trust people to decide what is the best decision for them. That is who we need to elect. With fewer than two weeks left to vote in the Oregon primaries, Oregonians who support access to abortion must elect candidates who support abortion rights at every level of office. From school board to our next Governor — Oregon must continue to elect leaders that will defend access to abortion and seek to expand it.”
For more information on pro-choice state and local candidates, voters can reference Pro-Choice Oregon PAC Voter’s Guide (64 state and local candidates) and Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon Voter’s Guide to learn more before they cast their ballots.