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Portland's planned boycott over Texas abortion law could cost Lone Star state 7 million a year

Portland City Council is set to vote next week on the measure. It would halt the city from spending money with Texas businesses and forbid employee travel there.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland’s plan to boycott Texas goods and services over that state’s new abortion law could cost companies in the state millions of dollars a year, city officials said Tuesday.

Heather Hafer, a spokeswoman with the Office of Management and Finance, said the city of Portland has inked nearly $35 million in contracts with Texas-based businesses over the last five years.

Portland employees have also made 19 separate trips to the Lonestar State on official business since 2019, Hafer said, a figure that would have been much higher had the city not halted work-related travel for a year beginning in March 2020 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: Oregon joins fight over Texas abortion ban

The disclosure of a boycott’s potential financial impact comes after Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick took to Twitter twice over Labor Day weekend to lambast “dumpster fire” Portland and its “depraved” city leaders.

“A boycott will hurt them, not us,” Patrick sniped Monday on the social media platform. “Texas’ economy is stronger than ever. We value babies and police, they don’t.”

The Portland City Council is scheduled to vote next week on the measure, which would halt the city from spending money with Texas businesses as well as forbid employee travel to the state.

The ban would be in effect until the state either withdraws the legislation or the law gets overturned in court, according to city officials.

Portland city leaders proposed the boycott in response to Texas’ new law, which went into effect Wednesday and bans abortions after physicians can detect fetal cardiac activity. That typically occurs in the early stages of pregnancy — around six weeks — before most people know they’re pregnant.
The law also allows private citizens to sue anyone who performs or assists in an abortion. Plaintiffs can recover up to $10,000 in statutory damages for every procedure they successfully report.

RELATED: President Biden pledges to launch investigative effort in response to SCOTUS ruling on Texas abortion ban