The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that had provided a constitutional right to abortion. The ruling is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states. In anticipation of the decision, several states led by Democrats have taken steps to protect abortion access.
Here is what Oregon has done on the issue of abortion.
Political control: The Democrats who control the Oregon Legislature support access to abortion, as does the Democratic Gov. Kate Brown.
Background: The Oregon Legislature passed a bill legalizing abortion in 1969. In 2017, Brown signed into law a bill expanding health care coverage for reproductive services, including abortions, to thousands of Oregonians, regardless of income, citizenship status or gender identity. Oregon does not have any major abortion restrictions and it is legal at all stages of pregnancy.
Effect of Supreme Court ruling: The Guttmacher Institute has estimated that Oregon would experience a 234% increase in women coming from out of state, especially from Idaho, if the high court overturns Roe v. Wade. In March, Oregon lawmakers approved $15 million to expand abortion availability and pay for abortions and support services such as travel and lodgings for residents and out-of-state patients.
What’s next: Brown said after the draft Supreme Court decision was leaked that access to abortion is a fundamental right and that she will fight to ensure access to abortion continues to be protected by state law in Oregon. Democratic state lawmakers recently formed the Reproductive Health and Access to Care Work Group of providers, clinics, community organizations and legislators that will make recommendations for the 2023 legislative session and beyond. Recommendations may include proposals to protect, strengthen, and expand equitable access to all forms of reproductive care.
Central Oregon Daily news contributed to this report.