About 4,000 people rallied in downtown Portland Tuesday to protest efforts in eight states to ban virtually all abortions.
Demonstrators chanted, “What is abortion? Healthcare!” and carried banners saying, “Abortion is a Right,” “My Body, My Rules” and “Stop The War On Women.”
Speakers talked about their own abortions and how anti-abortion groups are hoping new Supreme Court justices will tip the balance against Roe versus Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court ruling that offered legal protections to many abortion procedures.
Casey Leger runs a small business in Portland and doesn’t want anybody to carry a child they don’t want.
“Abortion is not going to stop, regardless of what the law is,” said Leger.
“There are dozens of ways to end a pregnancy. Most of the non-medical ways are unsafe. And so this is really a matter of human rights and safety for women.”
A handful of anti-abortion advocates staged a counter-protest and carried signs that said, “Abortion is Not Contraception” and “Life is Precious.”
There was a similar rally in Eugene Tuesday. Hundreds of other rallies were held in towns across the country.
About a dozen bills aimed at restricting abortion were filed in the Oregon Legislature this year, but they’ve attracted little support.