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Mark Meek: Every woman in America should have the right to access reproductive health care

I am disappointed and horrified by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Every woman in America should have the right to access reproductive health care, including a safe, legal abortion — period. Mark Meek

With its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, the court has robbed women in our country of a fundamental right that had been legally enshrined for almost half a century. Now it is up to each individual state to determine whether women will be legally allowed to access abortion care at all. Some states are already not just making abortion illegal — they are criminalizing women who seek abortions in another state (such as Oregon) and the doctors who provide them. That is wrong. The rights of all women — and the hard-fought progress that has been achieved over the past century have been dismantled.

I have always believed that these important medical decisions should be left with women and their doctors. As a pro-choice person of faith, I am guided to believe that all individuals have moral agency and deserve the freedom of self-determination. That includes having the right to control your own body and to choose when and if to start a family. I know most Oregonians agree.

I want to be clear: Women here in Oregon still have the legal right to seek an abortion. As a state representative during my first term in 2017, I supported and helped pass the Reproductive Health Equity Act, which codified a woman's right to access reproductive care — including abortions and contraception — into Oregon law.

But now it's on us, as legislators, to defend it.

We cannot allow Oregon to slide backwards. These are medical decisions that should be made by women and their doctors, not judges and politicians. As a legislator I will always protect the right for women to access a full range of reproductive health care, including abortion, in Oregon and oppose any efforts made within our state to dismantle that freedom.

Mark Meek is a state representative for Oregon House District 40 and a candidate for Senate District 20 to represent Oregon City, Gladstone and Happy Valley.

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