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Advocates say Oregon is not safe from threats to abortion rights

Rachael McDonald
Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden and Planned Parenthood of SW Oregon CEO Lisa Gardner (right) spoke about threats to women's right to choose during a press conference Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

Oregon has codified abortion rights into law. But advocates caution that, with the expected repeal of Roe V Wade by the Supreme Court, even states with such protections are at risk of losing them.

At a press conference at Planned Parenthood in Eugene, Oregon US Senator Ron Wyden and state labor commissioner Val Hoyle vowed to fight for reproductive rights.

Wyden warned activists are pushing for a federal ban. He said he’ll fight that.

“Anybody who tries to turn back the clock on the rights of women and their rights to privacy is going to have to run over me as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee,” he said. “And they’re going to have a battle on their hands.”

Wyden also warned of threats to privacy with tracking apps that can share information about people seeking reproductive health services that can be used against them.

Planned Parenthood of Southwest Oregon CEO Lisa Gardner said even Oregon is not safe from threats to women’s right to choose.

“We know just how fortunate we are to have the protections we have in the state of Oregon,” she said. “We need to fight to hold on to those protections. It is not a given. It is not a given in the state of Oregon that we will continue to have the right to access abortion. It does matter who we have representing us in the state and in Congress.”

Gardner said if Roe V Wade is struck down, people with privilege will still have access to abortion services, but those who are low income could face devastating impacts. They may not be able to afford to travel to another state to access services.

Oregon has set up a $15-million reproductive health access fund to assist people seeking abortions.

Note: Planned Parenthood is a KLCC underwriter.

Copyright 2022 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s former News Director. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000. After reporting for the Northwest News Network and KAZU, Rachael returned to KLCC in 2007 as Morning Edition host and a general assignment reporter covering politics, the environment, education, and the arts. She was hired as KLCC News Director in 2018. Rachael departed KLCC in June, 2022.