Without a single vote from a Republican lawmaker, the Democrat-controlled Oregon legislature has passed a measure requiring abortions to be covered by insurance. These “free” abortions will be covered at taxpayer expense, for any reason, at any time throughout pregnancy, for residents and nonresidents alike, including undocumented immigrants.
The state will set aside $10 million for Medicaid, partly for abortions. As ABC reported, there will also be $500,000 set aside, also partly for abortions, for undocumented immigrants. ABC also notes that “The Oregon bill is unique… in that patients would have access to the procedure for virtually any reason, at any time, including sex-selective and late-term abortions.”
While as of Wednesday, Governor Kate Brown had yet to sign the bill, she is expected to do so, and has expressed support for it. Her tweets include pro-abortion headlines, conveniently leaving out that it is taxpayers who will foot the bill.
“No one should have to go bankrupt or deep into debt because they don’t have affordable reproductive health care.” https://t.co/fP0lFjoh1i
— Fair Shot Oregon (@FairShotOR) July 10, 2017
Yes! Yes! Yes! “Oregon Legislature Approves Reproductive Services Bill Covering Abortions, Contraceptives” https://t.co/8ifkUIHHXo
— Kate Brown (@KateBrownForOR) July 6, 2017
Lila Rose, president and founder of Live Action, called Brown’s support for the bill “unconscionable.”
Unconscionable: Oregon Gov. @KateBrownForOR applauds extreme bill forcing taxpayers to fund abortions. https://t.co/oovpJ7gtHv
— Lila Rose (@LilaGraceRose) July 12, 2017
Oregon is one of 17 states in which abortions are already paid for by Medicaid. According to State Rep. Bill Post, the total cost of abortions (up to 2014) was already at $22 million.
The state “does not have any of the major types of abortion restrictions—such as waiting periods, mandated parental involvement or limitations on publicly funded abortions—often found in other states,” says the abortion-supporting Guttmacher Institute. The Hill reported that Oregon “is the only state without any restrictions on access to abortion services.” It’s been ranked the fifth worst state for life by Americans United for Life.
Oregon has been an abortion proponent’s dream for years. In 2013, Rollie Williams wrote that Oregon had become “the best state to have sex in,” thanks to easy abortion access. In passing the most recent legislation, Oregon Democrats passed decried the pro-life efforts of President Trump and Republicans. (While campaigning, Donald Trump made several pro-life promises, and as president, reinstated the Mexico City policy.) Even when pro-abortion President Barack Obama was in office, pro-life laws were still passing at record levels.
Michael New, an Associate Scholar of Economics at Ave Maria University and an Associate Scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute, told Live Action News that the “Oregon state legislature showed exceptionally poor judgement in when they decided to pass House Bill 3391. This bill has made Oregon the most radical state in terms of its abortion policy.”
Abortion advocates have applauded the bill, while the media has been relatively silent on the impact. Townhall’s Guy Benson also had strong words for the bill and for the media, in tweets and in print.
Oregon has passed a truly radical new abortion law. It’s a monstrosity and an affront to human rights.https://t.co/MEZ2lUuBbT
— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) July 12, 2017
According to ORTL:
This bill was pushed by Planned Parenthood, a big supporter of Democrat majorities in the legislature, and Governor Brown, a former abortion lobbyist herself. “HB 3391,” continued Atteberry, “was politically calculated to ensure Planned Parenthood has funding in a time when they are at risk of losing hundreds of millions of dollars from the federal government.”
Taxpayer-funded abortions are also unpopular, as demonstrated consistently by Knights of Columbus/Marist polling. According to ORTL, Oregonians agree, as “many Oregonians are opposed to the use of their tax dollars to fund abortion.”
Senate Republican Minority Leader Ted Ferrioli called the bill “the most extreme abortion funding law in the nation to force taxpayers to pay against their will for other people’s late-term and sex-selective abortions.”
“I don’t believe that most Oregonians are okay with the fact that they will be forced to pay for late-term, sex-selective abortions,” said Oregon Senate Republican Conference spokesman Jonathan Lockwood, the Hill reported. “This bill is nothing more than a political gift card to Planned Parenthood, and we’ve seen Planned Parenthood engaged in political actions.”
The bill has narrow exceptions for religious groups. As LifeSiteNews.com explained, however, “because the bill also requires all Oregon insurance companies to cover abortion, Christians are concerned that if the bill is signed into law there may not be any insurance policies available that don’t pay for abortion.”
In a press release, state Republicans warned the bill could be in violation of the Religious Freedom Reformation Act (RFRA) and the Weldon Amendment, which bars state governments from forcing insurance to cover abortion. “If HB 3391 is signed into law and Oregon is found in violation of the Weldon amendment, the state could stand to lose millions of dollars of financial support from the federal government,” they note.
ORTL told Live Action News in a statement that “Oregon Right to Life is carefully considering all options for stopping the effects of this legislation, including possible legal action.”
Oregon is already one of only a few states where preborn babies can be aborted for any reason up until birth — but now, Oregon taxpayers have to pay for them. Former abortionist, Dr. Anthony Levatino, describes one type of late-term abortion procedure in the video below:
There is a silver lining, however. A proposed 2018 ballot initiative, the Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, is supported by the Oregon Catholic Conference, and needs 117,000 signatures from registered Oregonians to qualify. It would bar state funds from funding elective abortions. According to New, the “effort will require a great deal of time and money, but it will be well worth it. Stopping taxpayer funding for abortion is a winning issue — even in blue states.“