by Andrea Moury
On July 1, politicians in Oregon passed a bill that would force taxpayers to fund free abortions across the state — even for illegal immigrants.
Oregon bill HB 3391, also known as the Reproductive Health Equity Act, requires health insurers to provide abortions free of charge, and specifically earmarks $500,000 of the 2017-2019 budget to be used to pay for abortions on women who would be eligible “except for their immigration status.” It is estimated that 22,873 women fall under that category.
With the end of the state’s legislative session coming up on July 10, Republicans desperately tried to stall the bill by motioning to send it back to committee. The attempt was thwarted, however, when every Democrat either voted “no” or did not vote. The $10.2 million bill eventually passed the state House by a vote of 33-23, with no Republican support and only one Democratic vote against it.
The Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, and NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon released a statement taking credit for the bill:
The Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon, which developed the legislation over the past two years with input from community leaders and legislators, applauded the elected leaders who recognized the urgent need to safeguard reproductive freedom and fill gaps in coverage that benefit millions of Oregonians.
On the other side of the aisle, Jonathan Lockwood, communications director for the Senate Republican Caucus, expressed deep disappointment with the legislation: “This highly contentious bill isn’t about health care or about people. It is a political gift card to Planned Parenthood.”
In addition, Oregon Right to Life’s executive director Gayle Atteberry accused the Democrats of using taxpayer dollars to reward “one of their primary campaign supporters, Planned Parenthood”:
This terrible legislation is just another example of how Oregon’s largest abortion provider’s only real concern is for their financial bottom line. The Oregon Health Authority testified [Thursday] that HB 3391-B will provide almost $500,000 more for abortions. Make no mistake: most of this money is going to Planned Parenthood.
Republican Representative Jodi Hack called Saturday “the saddest day I have experienced in the Oregon Legislature.”
Now that the bill has passed the Oregon House, it goes on to the Democrat-controlled Senate and then to the desk of Democratic Governor Kate Brown. With both of these entities being controlled by the “Party of Abortion,” pro-life citizens and legislators in Oregon must act fast to protect the unborn and prevent their tax dollars from being used to fund abortions.
Photo credit: Oregon Department of Transportation via Flickr, CC BY 2.0