SALEM, OR -- The U.S. Supreme Court effectively overturned Roe v. Wade with their Friday morning deision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. Their ruling allows individual states to ban abortion.
Deschutes County District Attorney John Hummel tweeted the decision "undermines trust in our criminal legal system and the safety of our communities. In response, I joined with 82 fellow elected prosecutors in pledging to not prosecute those who seek or assist w/ abortion care."
Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan issued a statement shortly after the decision was public:
"The right to control your own body and future is fundamental to our freedom in America. With today’s decision to end our national constitutional right to an abortion, 6 people on the Supreme Court have put the lives of millions in danger and made our country less free.
"Let’s be clear: In Oregon, abortion is legal. It is still your right. You can travel to Oregon to get an abortion if you need to.
"In 2017 Oregon passed the Reproductive Health Equity Act (RHEA), one of the strongest abortion access laws in the country, codifying Roe v. Wade into state law and making the full range of reproductive health care services more accessible and affordable for all Oregonians.
"While our rights are protected in Oregon, today’s decision will have devastating consequences around the country. This is a difficult day and many of us are concerned for our communities and our children. We are in this together though. I’ve been in this struggle to support access to abortion and I’ll continue to be no matter what."
Moments after the decision came down, Oregon U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) said it forever changes the right to abortion for Americans:
“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.”
Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) issued this statement:
“Today’s radical decision to overturn Roe v. Wade tosses out a half century of legal precedent, curtails the fundamental rights of women, and jeopardizes the health and safety of millions of people across the country. These radical Justices have ensured American women today have fewer rights than their grandmothers had decades ago – rights that have proven essential to the health, economic participation and freedom of people to control their own bodies. To be clear, the anti-abortion movement won’t stop here. What’s next is the criminalization of abortion – women and doctors in jail, or worse.
“We knew this decision was coming, but that doesn't make it any less horrifying. The Court has betrayed and defied the American people, who are rightfully terrified that the most powerful people in the country are clearly eager to violate their privacy and the basic human right to control their own bodies.
“The ultimate recourse for the American people is to expand majorities in the House and Senate that will do whatever it takes to codify Roe into law and expand access to safe, legal abortion nationwide. In the meantime, beginning right now, state and local leaders who are committed to women’s rights must take steps to expand access to abortion and protect the people and health care providers they represent from the extremists who are criminalizing it. States that respect women’s rights have a duty to put in place insurmountable obstacles to the prosecution of women or doctors for decisions made within their borders. Furthermore, the Congress must pass legislation protecting people’s data so their web searches, text messages and location tracking aren’t weaponized against them. Technology companies must take immediate steps to limit the collection and retention of customer data so that they don’t become tools of persecution.
“This is going to be the fight of our lifetime, and I am all in to do what it takes to protect the right to safe and legal abortion for generations to come.”
The governors of California, Oregon, and Washington issued a joint statement, saying they've made a Multi-State Commitment to "defend access to reproductive health care, including abortion and contraceptives, and committed to protecting patients and doctors against efforts by other states to enforce their abortion bans in our states."
This Multi-State Commitment affirms the governors’ commitment in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s unprecedented decision to strip away a constitutional right that has been in place for half a century, leaving abortion regulation to the states. The sweeping decision means that for patients in more than half the country, home to 33.6 million women, abortion care is illegal or inaccessible.
A copy of the Multi-State Commitment to Reproductive Freedom can be found here.
In a video message, the governors share a powerful message that the West Coast will remain a place where reproductive health care will be accessible and protected.
“Abortion is health care, and no matter who you are or where you come from, Oregon doesn’t turn away anyone seeking health care. Period. Let me be clear: You cannot ban abortion, you can only ban safe abortions — and this disgraceful Supreme Court decision will undoubtedly put many people’s lives at risk, in addition to stripping away a constitutional right that disproportionately affects women and has been settled law for most of our lifetimes,” said Oregon Governor Kate Brown. “For all the Americans today feeling scared, angry, and disappointed — for everyone who needs an abortion and does not know where they can access safe reproductive health care –– please know you are not alone, and the fight is not over.”
Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum tweeted:
I want everybody to know that, as OREGON Attorney General, I will keep fighting with every bone in my body to keep abortion safe and accessible. Abortion is still legal here in Oregon. Our doors are open to every person who may need to walk through them for their care.
— Ellen Rosenblum (@ORDOJ) June 24, 2022
Oregon U.S. Rep. Kurt Schrader tweeted:
Oregon U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio Tweeted:
Let me be clear: the government has no place in deciding what any person chooses to do with their own body. pic.twitter.com/hs1bWp5W2N
— Rep. Peter DeFazio (@RepPeterDeFazio) June 24, 2022
This is a developing story.