Civil Rights + Immigration

U.S. HHS chief vows to protect abortion access, but says much depends on states

BY: - June 28, 2022

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra pledged Tuesday to work to preserve abortion access in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s “despicable” decision overturning Roe v. Wade — though the department’s specific actions will depend on how states seeking to limit abortion access proceed. Becerra said HHS would enforce federal laws to […]

Wyden, Merkley want wider access to abortion pills, help with interstate travel for abortions

BY: - June 27, 2022

Senate Democrats, including Oregon’s Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, are asking President Joe Biden to increase access to abortion pills and help patients obtain abortions in other states following Friday’s Supreme Court decision ending the national right to abortions.  They have been worried about the Supreme Court decision for weeks, since a draft opinion revealing […]

After Supreme Court overturned Roe, LGBTQ advocates worry about what’s next

BY: - June 27, 2022

The U.S. Supreme Court’s Friday ruling overturning Roe v. Wade doesn’t immediately affect access to reproductive health care in Oregon, but LGBTQ rights advocates fear other rights may now be in jeopardy. Abortion is protected as a right under the state Constitution, and codified in state law. The same goes for access to contraceptives, which […]

Idaho’s trigger law will abolish abortions 30 days after SCOTUS ruling overturning Roe v. Wade

BY: - June 24, 2022

In a 6-3 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court has voted to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that determined a person’s constitutional right to seek an abortion, a move that will make abortion illegal in nearly all cases in 13 states, including Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. The decision follows a report in early May in Politico signaling the court […]

For the first time, Juneteenth is a state holiday in Oregon

BY: - June 19, 2022

A national celebration of the end of slavery that has its Oregon roots in a shipyard in the 1940s will be a state holiday for the first time this year. For more than 150 years, African-American communities have celebrated June 19, or Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day in 1865 that Union troops finally arrived […]

Oregon State Hospital needs to comply with court order, report says

BY: - June 8, 2022

An independent expert has called on the Oregon State Hospital to step up discharges and admit patients waiting in jail more quickly to ease the continuing backlog of demand for beds. The hospital is under a federal court order to admit aid-and-assist patients within seven days. They are patients in jail awaiting mental health treatment […]

Oregonians support Title IX’s guarantees for girls in sports, divided on transgender student access

BY: - June 8, 2022

Oregonians across the board support a now 50-year-old federal law that guarantees girls equal access to school sports, but they’re split on a current interpretation of the law that allows transgender students to play on their preferred teams. That’s one takeaway from a May poll by the Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, a nonpartisan public […]

State, Bend real estate group reach settlement on Oregon ‘love letter’ ban

BY: - May 9, 2022

The state of Oregon won’t keep fighting to enforce a first-in-the-nation ban on real estate “love letters” and will pay a Bend real estate group more than $60,000, according to a draft settlement filed in a federal court in Portland. Chief U.S. District Judge Marco Hernández in March temporarily blocked the enforcement of Oregon’s 2021 […]

Survey finds many Asian Oregonians experience hate crimes, harassment that go unreported

BY: - April 29, 2022

A survey of Asian Oregonians showed that half had heard someone use a racial slur, epithet or degrading language against them or their family. One-fifth said they or their family have faced a threat of physical harm or property damage because of their race. But most did not report it to police or the state’s […]

LGBTQ community, people of color in the crosshairs of banned book movement

BY: - April 20, 2022

Students in one Pennsylvania school district were not allowed to read a biography of the first Black President, Barack Obama.  In some Tennessee classrooms, a nonfiction comic book about the atrocities of the Holocaust is banned. And one school district in Wisconsin banned from libraries a picture book about a gay rights activist who was […]

Farmworker in spinach field

Study says state failed farmworkers during Covid; OSHA denies findings

BY: - April 7, 2022

The past two years have been difficult for everyone, but some 87,000 farmworkers in Oregon have faced some of the worst hardships, with state officials sometimes failing to protect them, according to a report published Tuesday. The Covid-19 Farmworker Study involved in-depth interviews with 48 farmworkers from 11 counties statewide, from Marion to Malheur to […]

Oregon adds hotline for sanctuary law violations

BY: - April 1, 2022

There’s a new number to call if police are suspected of investigating someone’s immigration status or otherwise violating Oregon’s sanctuary law.  Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum on Friday launched a new state hotline that anyone can call to report suspected violations of the decades-old sanctuary law that prevents state and local government and law enforcement from […]