Stop The Bans Rally is One of 500+ Nationwide Actions Mobilized by Broad, Diverse Coalition United Against Wave of Extreme Bans on Abortion
PORTLAND, Ore – This week hundreds of activists, local leaders, and pro-choice champions came together in downtown Portland in response to the wave of abortion bans sweeping the country. A broad and diverse coalition organized and mobilized supporters as part of the National Day of Action to Stop the Bans. As Tuesday was also Election Day in Oregon, speakers urged attendees to turn out to vote and recommit to the fight for reproductive freedom and justice.
Speakers included Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum who shared this with the crowd:
“This is an unconstitutional attack on the rights of women. I will do everything in my power to protect access to reproductive health care.”
National Field and Policy Director of Forward Together Kalpana Krishnamurthy said, “Now is not the time to back down. It’s not the time to wring our hands. It’s not the time to be silenced by what seems like an overwhelming fight. It’s time to show up. And show up hard.”
Grayson Dempsey, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, one of the organizers of the event, had this to say in her remarks to the crowd:
“Today is the day that we, the 7-in-10 majority, truly recognize the inequities that still exist—that reproductive freedom is still a privilege for some and not a right of all. Today, we recommit ourselves to a movement that centers on and will be led by those most impacted by these attacks. Today is the day we draw the line and put an end to any and all abortion bans.”
Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon’s Executive Director Emily McLain, shared this with supporters, “The goal of these appalling and dangerous abortion bans is transparent: to bring a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade to the Supreme Court, and make abortion inaccessible in this country. We will be fighting to make sure they never go into effect — and doing everything we can to protect our patients’ health and lives. We are watching, and we won’t forget as 2020 approaches.”
The day of action comes at a critical juncture in the fight for reproductive freedom and justice, as anti-choice politicians push laws infringing on personal decisions that should be left to women and their doctors, compounded by Donald Trump’s stacking of the Supreme Court and federal judiciary with justices who are hostile to Roe v. Wade.
Members of Oregon’s federal delegation were unable to attend the event in person, but shared their support from across the country. In response to the Day of Action, Senator Ron Wyden said “A woman’s health care decisions are between her and her doctor. End of discussion.” He continued “I always have – and always will – fight any reactionary act arising anywhere in the United States that would lurch health care in our country back to the dark days when a woman lacked the right to make her own reproductive choices.”
Senator Jeff Merkley echoed these remarks and said, “They are waging a war on women and girls. They are working to criminalize women’s most private, personal decisions, and we cannot allow them to advance their misogynist agenda. I pledge that I will not be silent, and I will fight alongside the women of Oregon and those across the nation to stop this rollback of individual rights.”
The rally represented a local coalition of diverse organizations including NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, ACLU of Oregon, Forward Together, Western States Center, Democratic Party of Oregon, Northwest Abortion Access Fund, Family Forward Action, NWGSD PDX, Emerge Oregon and AAUW Oregon.
- Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum
- Jillian Schoene, Executive Director of Emerge Oregon
- Grayson Dempsey, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon
- Kalpana Krishnamurthy, National Field and Policy Director of Forward Together
- Emily McLain, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon
- Erik Ward, Executive Director of Western States Center
- Yvonne Garcia, Individual Gifts Officer of ACLU of Oregon
- An Do, Political Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon
- And a special appearance by Multnomah County Commissioners Susheela Jayapal, Sharon Meieran, Lori Stegmann and Jessica Vega Pederson
Stop the Bans National Day of Action is part of a larger network that includes All* Above All Action Fund, ACLU, EMILY’s List, Indivisible, MoveOn, NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, UltraViolet, Women’s March, which together hosted more than 500 events in all 50 states. To see more of the actions that occurred outside of state capitols, in town squares, courthouses, and for a full list of coalition partners, visit www.stopabortionbans.org.