Abortion rights advocates gather in Portland to denounce Idaho ban

Author: Christelle Koumoué (KGW)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KGW) — Reproductive rights leaders gathered in downtown Portland on Wednesday in support of abortion access and to denounce a ban on abortion in neighboring Idaho.

Idaho’s near-total ban on abortion was set to take effect Thursday — but on Wednesday, a federal judge blocked the state from enforcing part of the strict law.

The block only applies to where the law conflicts with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. Doctors will not face criminal charges in these instances, as state law must yield to federal law.

The rest of Idaho’s abortion laws will take effect Thursday.

Democratic candidate for Oregon governor Tina Kotek joined reproductive rights advocates at the press conference Wednesday. She said that the ban in Idaho will impact people who live in Eastern Oregon, close to the Idaho border.

“Even though abortion is legal and in-statute here in Oregon, we must step in and help our neighbors,” said Kotek.

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, anticipated a 234% increase in out-of-state patients coming to Oregon if the ban were to go into effect.

An Do, executive director of the group, said that they welcome and plan to help anyone in need of care, but Oregon’s health care infrastructure is not ready to meet that demand.

“We also know that people coming in, means that people in Oregon might be facing longer wait times,” said Do, “or that other essential and critical health care like family planning might see pressing times because of the surge in patients.”

Other candidates for Oregon governor have also spoken out on where they stand on abortion. Republican Christine Drazan told OPB that she wouldn’t comment on legislation that hasn’t been drafted but supports “common-sense regulations on abortion including protecting life in the third trimester.”

Unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson told KGW on “Straight Talk” that she’s staunchly “pro-choice” and has served on the board of Planned Parenthood.

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