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Portland vote on banning city business with Texas delayed

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Portland, Oregon, City Council vote on a draft emergency resolution that would ban the purchase of goods and services from Texas in response to a new law there prohibiting most abortions was postponed on Wednesday until next week.

The resolution if passed would also bar city employee travel to Texas. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office originally expected the draft emergency resolution to be presented during a City Council meeting on Wednesday, but said it was being postponed to “best understand the impact of” the ban.

Heather Hafer, a spokeswoman with the Office of Management and Finance, told The Oregonian/OregonLive the city of Portland has linked nearly $35 million in contracts with Texas-based businesses during the last five years.

In addition, Portland employees have made 19 separate trips to Texas on official business since 2019, Hafer said.

“We urge other leaders and elected bodies around the nation to join us in condemning the actions of the Texas state government,” read a statement from Wheeler’s office last week.

Following news of the potential boycott, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took to Twitter during Labor Day weekend describing Oregon’s most populous city as a “dumpster fire” and calling Portland city leaders “depraved.”

“Portland boycotting Texas is a complete joke. A city led by depraved officials allows lawlessness, putting their citizens in grave danger,” Patrick tweeted. “A boycott will hurt them, not us.”

The new Texas law prohibits abortions once medical professionals can detect cardiac activity, usually around six weeks — before some people know they’re pregnant. Courts have blocked other states from imposing similar restrictions, but Texas’ law differs significantly because it leaves enforcement up to private citizens through lawsuits instead of criminal prosecutors.

The Supreme Court’s decision this past week not to interfere with the Texas law has provoked outrage from liberals and cheers from many conservatives.

Wheeler said that the resolution, if passed, would be in effect until Texas either withdraws the abortion law or it gets overturned in court.


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