Portland may ban Texas travel and trade in protest of abortion laws

National and World

FILE – In this Aug. 30, 2020 file photo Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler speaks during a news conference (Sean Meagher/The Oregonian via AP, file)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The state of Texas could soon feel economic backlash in response to its recently enacted new abortion laws, which are the strictest in the U.S.

The city council of Portland, Oregon, is set to vote Wednesday on whether to ban future travel and trading of goods and services with Texas in protest of the legislation, The Hill reports.

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

Texas sparked an inferno of controversy with the passage of Senate Bill 8, which bans abortions from being performed after six weeks, before most women even know they’re pregnant. Nationally, the law has faced aggressive criticism.

President Joe Biden condemned the law, calling it “unconstitutional chaos,” and promised to launch a government-wide effort to respond to the law.

On Monday, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said the Department of Justice is urgently exploring options to challenge the bill and protect “constitutional rights of women and other persons, including access to an abortion.”

In the meantime, the department says it will protect people who try getting abortions and those who provide them. Another highly criticized element of SB 8 allows private citizens and organizations to sue those who help someone get an abortion — for up to $10,000. Many argue this could essentially place a bounty on people’s heads and clog courts with frivolous lawsuits.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the law to stand on Tuesday, after a group of Texas abortion clinics and advocates requested the law be blocked. For now, the law stands.

Mayor Wheeler’s statement concludes by saying: “Portland City Council stands with the people who may one day face difficult decisions about pregnancy, and we respect their right to make the best decision for themselves.”

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