Portland, Oregon, has abandoned plans this week to ban the city’s business with Texas over the controversial new Lone Star State abortion law, amid concerns it would hurt the Texans most affected by it.
The City Council voted Wednesday 4-1 to allocate $ 200,000 to organizations that offer reproductive care.
The only “no” vote was from Commissioner Mingus Mapps, who said he was “baffled” by the allocation of funds.
“Our city is overwhelmed by multiple crises. This council should focus on resolving them,” he said. “We have a crisis of armed violence. We have a crisis of homeless people. We have a garbage crisis. And we have a pandemic.”
Mapps said he opposes Texas law that went into effect earlier this month.
Portland has bought nearly $ 35 million worth of goods and services in Texas over the past five years, spokeswoman Heather Hafer said.
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“What do we do today will fundamentally change the mindset of Texas lawmakers? Probably not,” said Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “But what he’s going to do is send a very strong message, to the people of Texas, that we don’t abandon them just because they unfortunately have the leadership they have.”
The Texas Heartbeat Act, which went into effect Sept. 1 after Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed it into law in May, bans abortions in the state after six weeks.
Critics have argued that many women do not realize they are pregnant at this time and have objected to the law not having exceptions in cases of rape or incest.
“It will spread”
“I’ve heard some suggest that this (law) has no influence on our local community … I couldn’t agree more,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said during a meeting Wednesday. “If this Texas law, which restricts women’s rights, is allowed to spread to other states, it will endanger Roe against Wade and affect our components here in the city of Portland.”
Wheeler posted several tweets about Wednesday’s resolution, writing that it was his “duty and honor” to vote “yes.”
“We will not be silent in the face of oppression and control,” he tweeted. “We will talk, act and hold other states accountable for the disproportionate damage they inflict on communities of color, women, people who are not gender binary, poor working families, and immigrant communities.”
Wheeler announced the city’s already derailed plan to boycott Texas businesses earlier this month.
“A complete joke”
Texas Gov. Dan Patrick mocked the boycott plan as a “complete joke” on Twitter after Wheeler made the original announcement.
“A city run by depraved officials allows for illegality, putting its citizens in grave danger. The boycott will hurt them, not us. Texas’ economy is stronger than ever. We value babies and the police, no.” , he wrote.
The boycott would have banned the purchase of goods and services by Portland in Texas and the travel of bar city employees until the legislation is reversed or repealed.
Wheeler appeared to have publicly announced the ban before officials described the details of how a boycott would work in Texas.
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During Labor Day, city officials met with reproductive health care providers and advocates to discuss the boycott. Wheeler said advocates “disagreed with some elements” of the ban and suggested alternatives.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.