Large protests grow in downtown Portland following Roe v. Wade overturning

Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 7:24 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) – Large protests took place in downtown Portland following the overturning of Roe v. Wade by the U.S. Supreme Court Friday morning.

A protest that began around 5 p.m. at Salmon Street Springs at the Tom McCall Waterfront Park later moved to Lownsdale Square Park, merging with an already formed protest.

Around 7:30 p.m., protestors began to cross the Hawthorne Bridge, closing down one side to traffic. Protestors then returned to Lownsdale Square Park.

“50 years later, protesting again,” said Lori Anderson, protesting with her daughter and her friend. “I’m 65 and I cannot believe, well I can, but I’m really sad that we’re here again.”

“We’re here today to bring people together on what is a really horrendous day in American history,” said Christel Allen, Executive Director of Pro-Choice Oregon.

“This decision, obviously with the leak over a month ago, it was not surprising. It doesn’t mean I was ready to actually read those headlines when they came in this morning. This is unfathomable. It’s hard to put into words how devastating this decision is going to be and the impact it’s going to have on so many people across this country.”

Pro-Choice Oregon was one of the protest organizers for the event that started at Salmon Street Springs. Allen says Friday was a day for the community to come together.

“Today is the first day of what will be a generational fight in front of us,” said Allen. “What we are seeing is an institution crumble before our very eyes. Our rights are being rolled back and I know I am one of millions and millions and millions across this country that isn’t going to take it standing down. I’m going to be here, I’m going to be here tomorrow. There are so many opportunities for people to join this movement and that’s what today is: an introduction. It’s a warm invitation. It’s a way to get involved in what we hope is not just getting back that legality that we lost today in our country but actually starting to build something that’s even better. People need it be supported by their own communities. That’s the type of future we are interested in starting to build today here.”

Allen says they are preparing to help those who may seek abortions from out of state, as well as a day of action on July 9.

“People should get involved. This organization have been doing work like this to prepare for this very moment for 45 years. We would love to have you. Visit ProChoiceOregon.Org and sign up to volunteer. We’re just ready to do this work and we cannot do it without thousands of people coming together and fighting for something that’s right. Some of our closest connections in Idaho are through the Northwest Abortion Action Fund. It’s a community-based mutual aid organization that provides on the ground support, both financially helping people pay for medical bills but also helping people navigate geographic barriers. They are going to pay for peoples travel, peoples daycare, everything to get people the care the deserve and half of their board from Idaho. They’re in community today with people who are wondering where they are going to get this procedure. They are an amazing organization and I’ve learned so much from working with them and people should give them money right now.”

The Portland Police Bureau released a statement acknowledging the protests shortly before 6 p.m. Friday.

“The City of Portland and Police Bureau are firmly and consistently supportive of people exercising their free speech and assembly rights. However, at times, people intent on committing property damage and other crimes have attached themselves to crowds of otherwise peaceful community members,” the PPB said in the release.

“I respect the right to gather and demonstrate, and I urge everyone who does to do so peacefully,” said Police Chief Chuck Lovell. “I urge you to reject any attempt to undermine your message by those who utilize the tactics of criminal destruction.”