On a sunny afternoon on the four corners surrounding Planned Parenthood’s Beaverton facility, over 300 people gathered to rally and call for the defunding and investigation of America’s largest abortion provider.
The Wednesday, July 28th rally coincided with simultaneous rallies in over 65 other cities around the country also organized by Students for Life of America.
The rallies, known by the hashtag #WomenBetrayed, were planned after the release of videos by the Center for Medical Progress showing top executives of Planned Parenthood discussing the sale of body parts of aborted babies over lunch with undercover investigators posing as potential buyers. The latest video, released Tuesday, shows at least one Planned Parenthood employee participating in the selection of body parts from an aborted baby for later sale.
Wednesday’s rally included speakers from local Students for Life groups, Oregon Right to Life, SaveOne, Democrats for Life of America and others.
“In the last 12 years…Oregonians have spent $20 million of our tax dollars on abortions,” said Representative Bill Post (R-Keizer). “The taxpayer funding of abortions must end. Now that is something that I can do as a State Representative, and I promise to do that. I will write a bill, it will come out in the February  session.”
Caleb Knezevich, President of Portland Community College Students for Life, told the crowd that abortion can either end the same way slavery was abolished forever or how prohibition of alcohol was eventually repealed. He urged everyone present to start planning now for when abortion is banned to be sure that it is permanently ended.
Representatives from Students for Life groups passed out petitions calling on all U.S. Presidential Candidates to pledge to defund Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood being caught in the latest undercover video…selling parts of babies is definitely a bipartisan issue,” said Melody Durrett, a Students for Life representative, to KATU News. “The American public is outraged by this.”
Gayle Atteberry, Executive Director of Oregon Right to Life. (Credit: Ray Alner)
“Planned Parenthood betrays women when they tell them that abortion is only taking out tissue,” Gayle Atteberry, Executive Director of Oregon Right to Life, told the crowd. “Planned Parenthood betrays women when they push abortion above all other options. Planned Parenthood does 180 abortions for every one adoption referral… And Planned Parenthood betrays women when they say that the abortionist will in no way change the abortion procedure if they decide to donate [baby body parts]. We saw on the videos how abortionists alter the abortion procedure in order to not damage the organs and other parts that they want to sell.”
Less than a dozen supporters of Planned Parenthood were also present holding signs behind the facility.
After escaping an abusive relationship, Sophia Adams was shocked to discover nude photos of herself online. The compromising photos of the Beaverton woman appeared on a website linked to her personal Facebook page, allowing all her friends to view them. To have the images removed, Adams was forced to pay a $400 fine.
Adams had become a victim of revenge porn, an abuse in which a vengeful partner posts pornographic content of their ex online without permission.
On Thursday, Oregon’s Senate unanimously passed a bill proposing to criminalize revenge porn. In Oregon and 34 other states, revenge porn is currently not punishable by law. Stories like Adams’ are becoming increasingly common occurrences.
“I just got out of an abusive relationship and I was mortified, hurt, angry, and anxious when I saw that my ex had posted naked private pictures online that I allowed him to take when we were together,” Adams wrote.
Adams started a Change.org campaign calling for the Oregon legislatures to outlaw revenge porn.
“This is a form of sexual harassment and needs to be addressed,” Adams wrote. “Please sign my petition to pass a law that will help protect me and others like me that have gone through this humiliatingly hurtful sexual harassment.”
Passed on Thursday, Senate Bill 188 would make posting naked photos collected during a romantic relationship online without the subject’s permission a misdemeanor on first offense, and a felony for every subsequent offense.
“Nobody should have to endure the humiliation of this happening to them,” Sen. Tim Knopp, R-Bend, said in a floor speech.
“If tech platforms wanted to step up and tackle this issue, they could do so much more than laws to eradicate this issue over time,” said Mary Anne Franks, vice president of the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative, an anti-revenge porn advocacy group.
Many find weaknesses in Reddit’s reform, noting that victims must first alert Reddit of inappropriate content before the images are removed.
“It does put the burden on the victim but honestly, compared to how things were before, this is still really good,” said Franks.
Following Reddit’s failure to take decisive action following last year’s “celebgate” catastrophe, current administrators hope the site will become a positive example.
“Last year, we missed a chance to be a leader in social media,” Reddit announced in a blog post.
As Bill 188 reaches the House for consideration, activists nationwide look to Oregon to lead legislative reform defending the decency of cyber-victims.
Next week, the FBI will host their third annual Bowl-a-thon and raffle fundraiser to benefit human trafficking survivors.
This open event is hosted by the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association. Funds generated will be donated to local charities as well as the Human Trafficking Committee (HTC) of the nonprofit Citizens Academy Alumni Association.
HTC assists survivors of sexual exploitation and educates the public about human trafficking’s effects on society.
The event will be held March 7 at Sunset Lanes in Beaverton from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Each ticket costs $30. Visit their website to register.
The charities benefitting from the fundraiser this year have not yet been named.
Last year, the event raised thousands of dollars for donation to the organizations Hope 82, House of Engedi, and assault prevention group Just Yell Fire.
Five years after opening Decadent Creations Bakery from her home kitchen, Beaverton-based pastry chef Mindy Simmons won the latest episode of the hit TV show “Chopped.” In a special “Chocolate Rush!” episode, contestants prepared a three course meal working chocolate into every dish.
“I did not see this coming,” Simmons told The Oregonian. “After the first round, I was not confident at all. I actually undercooked my pork chop, and I realized it at the last, literally the last, minute.”
A quick creative fix – shaving off the glazed pork chop edges and garnishing with a white chocolate sauce – delighted the judges. Her entree, a chocolate-crusted deckle of cumin and cayenne-flavored beef, also impressed.
But the pastry chef’s favorite part of the competition was, naturally, the finale.
“I don’t really do savory,” Simmons said. “I was really proud of the dessert I made.”
Fans wanting to try the winning dessert can buy the graham cracker strawberry shortcakes at the Beaverton Farmer’s Market this Saturday, Feb. 21.
Decadent Creations can be found at 5 Portland area farmers markets, select New Seasons Market stores, and several coffee shops. From her scrumptious Chopped meal to her elaborate baked goods, it’s easy to see the Oregonian victor values creativity.
“We call our style adventurous nostalgic,” the Decadent Creations website reads. “Like finding your Grandmother is on Safari. A slice of cake should tug at your heart-strings while taking you on a flavor-journey to someplace you’ve never been.”
Living and baking in the Portland area for past 11 years, Simmons remains committed to creating treats utilizing local ingredients.
“I believe that sweets should be hand-made with locally-sourced milk, butter, sugar, flour and love freshly every day,” Simmons’ website reads. “That never goes out of style.”
FACT Oregon, a non-profit organization which supports Oregon families with disabilities, will host a “Transition to Adulthood” seminar to provide resources for disabled teens and young adults as they seek employment and other adult services.
“Transition to Adulthood” will be held Thursday, November 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Capital Center (18640 NW Walker Road) in Beaverton.
The seminar is free and includes a light dinner. Both the meal and the space are provided by the Beaverton School District.
FACT Oregon is partnering with Washington County’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Washington County Developmental Disabilities, Independence Northwest, Self-Determination Resources Inc, and Disability Rights of Oregon to provide the following resources and training sessions:
– Employment opportunities
– A vision for life after school
– The role of the Individualized Education Program throughout the transition years
– The adult support services that are available for individuals who have disabilities
– Discussion of disability benefits
Jenny Cavarno, FACT Oregon’s Northwest program coordinator, said that the organization will be launching brand new curriculum this year. “This will be the first time we’ve done this particular training,” she said.
This year’s more extensive “Transition to Adulthood” training is made possible by federal grants which FACT Oregon uses to serve Oregon families with disabilities in various capacities. “In July of 2014, we received a grant from Oregon’s Department of Education to further shore up the support for families and one of the areas is the transition [years],” Cavarno said.