Members of Oregon’s congressional delegation quickly issued statements following the news that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 50-year-old Roe v. Wade decision, which established a constitutional right to abortion.
The court’s decision means the procedure now becomes illegal in several states, though not in Oregon.
U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Ore., issued this statement on Friday’s Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision:
“The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn abortion rights is infuriating, heartbreaking, and dangerous. Abortion is health care. Abortion care is essential for the health and wellbeing of families and communities. I remember the days before Roe v. Wade, when abortions done without medical care could have tragic outcomes – including death. The decision today undermines decades of hard-fought protections for reproductive health and the right to determine when and whether to have a child. Make no mistake, overturning Roe v. Wade will not end abortions; it will make them unsafe. This decision will disproportionately hurt families and individuals who are already struggling, and, unfortunately, it will embolden many states to restrict access to the care people need. Additionally, several justices who joined the majority opinion have made statements claiming that Roe v. Wade is settled law; their action today overruling precedent is a betrayal of the American people’s trust and erodes confidence in the Court.
“We will not let this decision stop our fight to make abortion care accessible and available to all. I have helped the House pass legislation to put Roe v. Wade into law, and I will continue doing all I can to get it over the finish line.”
U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., issued this statement:
“Today I join millions of Americans feeling the shocking loss of reproductive freedom in our country. This is not merely a political or legal issue. This is profoundly personal, speaking to an individual’s right to control their body and rely on a half-century of legal, constitutional certainty.
“The ability to decide when, how, and with whom to have a child is deeply important. That decision is a personal one, and one that should be decided by an individual in consultation with their doctor and family, not an ideological Supreme Court.
“Oregon is the only place in the U.S. where abortion is fully protected. We can be grateful to Planned Parenthood Oregon which has been preparing to receive a crushing influx of women seeking abortion care in the weeks and months to come.
“We must quickly pivot to protect what we have and continue our fight in every state and every community. Congress should pass the Women’s Health Protection Act which would codify a person’s right to the full spectrum of reproductive care. We must prepare to fight each new legal challenge to abortion and protect health care providers that are able to continue offering a complete range of reproductive services.
“This is not the end of the fight. Rather this is the beginning of a new chapter in which we must stand strong and intensify our efforts to protect the majority of people living in the United States.”
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat, posted his statement on his website and on social media.
“When you have to make the most intimate, personal decisions that will impact your life and your health and body, I don’t know anyone who wants some politician in the room. Yet, that is exactly the impact of this Supreme Court opinion for millions and millions of Americans, who suddenly find an overbearing government dictating their path. This assault on Americans’ rights and freedom is shocking.
“After today, we will see the very real and dangerous consequences across the country of taking away the right to safe and legal abortions. It’s on all of us – Members of Congress, medical professionals, advocates, and voters – to stand up against this nightmare vision of people forced to carry pregnancies to term against their will. Each one of us should have the freedom to live our lives without politicians forcing their way into our bedrooms and exam rooms.
“Across the country, millions of Americans face abortion being criminalized – even in the case of rape or incest or when the patient’s life is in danger. I’m proud to be from a state like Oregon, where we have made it clear we will stand strong for the right to compassionate reproductive care. The decision to have an abortion is one that should be made by you and only you – not by judges, not by MAGA politicians, and not by your ability to pay or the zip code you live in. Today’s news is incredibly disturbing and a huge blow to freedom across America, but we will not give up the fight.”
Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., tweeted his reaction as well, calling Friday “a heartbreaking day for America.”
U.S. Rep. Cliff Bentz, Oregon’s lone Republican member of Congress, praised the decision in brief statement: “A momentous decision. Every human life is sacred.”