Oregon advances bill that would provide ‘free abortions’ for citizens and non-citizens

On July 2, the Washington Times reported that the Oregon House has advanced the Reproductive Health Equity Act to the Senate — a bill which “would allocate $10.2 million for services related to contraception, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy, including vasectomies and abortions, in the 2017-19 budget period.”

The bill passed without a single Republican vote, and would pay for these services for citizens as well as for undocumented immigrants. Portland reported that the bill “would require all insurance companies across the state to cover abortions and a variety of other reproductive services at no cost to the patient — regardless of income, insurance type, citizenship status or gender identity.”

House Democrats released a statement saying, “Even while the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress are trying to strip away reproductive rights, Oregon is ensuring access regardless of income, citizenship status, gender identity, or type of insurance.” Democrats currently control the House, Senate, and governorship.

Jonathan Lockwood of the Senate Republican Caucus called the bill “a political gift card to Planned Parenthood.” Gayle Atteberry, executive director of Oregon Right to Life, called the bill “terrible legislation” which will “provide almost $500,000 more for abortions. Make no mistake: most of this money is going to Planned Parenthood.”

The Washington Times states that the bill contains “an abortion exemption for churches and religious nonprofits, notably Providence Health Plans, a Catholic-sponsored health-care group that covers 260,000 Oregonians and had threatened to exit the individual and group insurance markets if forced to cover the procedure.”

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