THERE'S ONE THING Portlanders won't take sitting down: threats to a cheap, safe, and reliable supply of birth control.
On Friday, February 18, the US House of Representatives passed a GOP-backed spending plan that cuts all of the $317 million the feds usually give to family-planning programs. On Monday night, February 21, more than 400 Portlanders took to the streets in front of Planned Parenthood's NE Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue clinic, waving signs at rush-hour traffic and chanting, "Women's health care is under attack! What do we do? Stand up, fight back!"
Oregon has the highest per capita rate of Planned Parenthood use of any state—in 2009, the local Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette distributed 333,000 units of birth control and did 23,000 STD tests. A whopping 92 percent of their clients qualified for free or subsidized birth control under the threatened federal program.
None of Oregon's representatives voted for the spending bill, and President Obama has said he will veto the plan if it passes the Senate.
But it's worth noting what would happen in Oregon if the House budget cuts took effect. The stats included in the following infograph in the sidebar are from research conducted by the Guttmacher Institute.
See a slideshow of photos from the rally here.