PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - "Stop the Bans" rallies are being held across the country, including Portland, Tuesday to protest recent abortion laws in some states.
NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, who organized Tuesday's event at Terry Schrunk Plaza, said they were expecting hundreds of people to attend.
NOW: Hundreds are gathered at Portland’s Terry Schrunk Plaza for a #StopTheBans rally in protest of recent more restrictive #abortion laws passed in other states, including #AL #GA #MO & #MS. The event was organized by @prochoiceoregon. pic.twitter.com/l0U6rrpAgi— Tyler Dumont (@TylerDumontNews) May 21, 2019
Among the speakers was Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum.
A leader with the NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon group said they were protesting as part of a national day of action to express upset with recent, more restrictive abortion laws that have been passed in other U.S. states - including Alabama, Georgia, Missouri and Mississippi.
In Oregon, there are not any current legislative bills similar to the ones passed in those states with widespread support.
In fact, Oregon has historically been a leader on abortion rights compared to other states.
Abortion has no legislative restrictions in Oregon, and is legal in the state throughout a pregnancy. But demonstrators say it's that way in the state only because of strong efforts, and they want to keep up momentum.
Demonstrators say this is also about showing solidarity with other "Stop the Bans" rallies in other states.
“They are passing bills in these other states that are intentionally unconstitutional. They are extreme bans that would not only prosecute women, but would put doctors in jail for up to 99 years for what is a basic, common, medical procedure. One-in-four women in the United States will have an abortion in her lifetime. So, to criminalize this procedure – to punish women and doctors – in an attempt to get to the Supreme Court and hopefully overturn Roe versus Wade is a threat that we should also take very, very seriously," said Grayson Dempsey with NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon.
Pro-choice supporters in Oregon have also lauded a house bill that was signed into law by Governor Brown in 2017, which requires private health insurance plans to cover abortion procedures with no out-of-pocket costs.
The law also instituted access to services for undocumented immigrants.
Portland's "Stop the Bans" rally was expected to last until 1 p.m. Similar rallies are happening in the state, including in Eugene and Corvallis.
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