PORTLAND, OR -- Oregon groups on both sides of the abortion fight are reacting to the leaked Supreme Court draft decision on Roe v. Wade.
Oregon Right to Life is cautiously optimistic. Executive Director Lois Anderson says she knows the decision isn’t final, "Should the core of this draft hold, yes, this is what we have been working for for decades." An Do, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood of Oregon, says abortion remains legal here because of the 2017 Health Equity Act passed by the legislature, 'We codified the right to an abortion in state law. So, regardless of this leaked decision or the final ruling, abortion will remain legal and accessible in our state."
Because of that protection, CEO of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette Anne Udall expects to see a dramatic increase in women coming to Oregon seeking abortions. She says some estimate Oregon clinics will see a more than 230% increase in patients, "No matter what happens, we will be there for our out-of-state neighbors and clearly for everyone who lives in Oregon and Southwestern Washington." Anderson agrees the state will likely see more women from states with stricter abortion laws, "If they’re coming here to seek an abortion, we want to be able to still offer them hope and support, and the resources they need to embrace life, rather than choosing to end the life of their child."
Oregon Governor Kate Brown joined other Democrats speaking out against the direction the Supereme Court appears to be leaning. She released a video statement Tuesday, saying in part, "Access to abortion is a basic and fundamental right, and is protected by state law in Oregon." She went on to say, "You cannot ban abortion. You can only ban safe abortions," adding, "We cannot and we will not let our country take this huge step backward." But ORTL's Anderson says reversing Roe v. Wade would not be a step back in time, "If we think about what life was like in 1972 or 1955, it might as well be Mars compared to 2022. We just have access to so many more resources; the technology. If you want to prevent pregnancy, there’s more options now than there ever has been."
Anderson stresses the leaked document was only a draft and she awaits a final decision from the high court, which is expected this summer.