We did it! Initiative Petition 1 Qualifies for November Ballot

Oregon state elections officials announced today that Initiative Petition 1 (IP 1) has qualified for the statewide ballot in November. If approved by voters the measure will prohibit public funds from being used for non-medically necessary abortions.

More than 10,000 volunteer petition circulators gathered signatures for the initiative. According to Ballotpedia, this marks the first all-volunteer petition drive to qualify for the Oregon ballot in 18 years. 

“We did something many people didn’t think was possible,” said Jeff Jimerson, director of Oregon Life United, the primary sponsor of the initiative. “Oregonians can finally vote to stop the funding of elective abortions with our state tax dollars.”

IP 1 was able to qualify for the ballot on the first sample of signatures checked. 94.7% of the 1,000 signatures sampled were deemed valid, representing 130,396 verified signatures. Because the sample was relatively small, officials removed another approximately 10% to account for margin of error and assumed duplicates. This left 117,799 signatures—just enough to qualify on the first pass. 117,578 were needed. 

The Secretary of State is expected to assign a ballot measure number no later than August 10th. 

Pro-Life and Fiscal Conservatives Unite to Vigorously Oppose “Free Abortions” Law Signed by Gov. Kate Brown

 Governor Kate Brown.    File photo source: Associated Press

Governor Kate Brown.   File photo source: Associated Press

It was announced today that HB 3391 — known as the “free abortions for all” bill — has been signed into law by Governor Kate Brown. The partisan legislation, which was passed last month by the Oregon House and Senate, requires private insurers to cover abortion without a copay and significantly increases the number of state-funded abortions.

By declaring the law to be an emergency, Gov. Brown and sponsoring legislators have stripped Oregon citizens of their right to refer HB 3391 to the people for a vote. The law goes into effect immediately.

The devastating legislation is opposed in the strongest of terms by a broad spectrum of pro-life and faith-based organizations, as well as fiscally conservative political organizations and legislators. HB 3391 imposes an undue burden on Oregon taxpayers, and will cause thousands of women and babies to be hurt by abortion.

We urgently call on Oregon voters to express their opposition to HB 3391 by signing the Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act — a citizen initiative sponsored by Oregon Life United. More than 117,000 signatures are needed to qualify the measure for Oregon’s November, 2018 ballot. Voters may print and sign Initiative Petition 1 (IP-1) at www.StopTheFunding.org.

— Statements —

“The day after our country celebrated Independence Day, the Oregon State Legislature passed a bill that has more to do with force than it does with freedom. House Bill 3391, which has now been signed into law by the Governor, forces insurance companies to cover abortion on demand and it forces all Oregon taxpayers to help finance an extremist abortion agenda that does not enjoy majority support.”

By insisting on complete insurance coverage of abortion, including late-term and sex-selective abortions, the legislature shows itself intolerant of widely held opposing views and will compel thousands of Oregonians to support what their conscience rejects.”
— The Oregon Catholic Conference

“In my two terms in the Oregon House, I’ve never had a harder day than the day we voted on HB 3391. When I went to the House floor it was as if I were going to a funeral, because I was. Thousands of babies will be murdered thanks to the passage of HB 3391. We must stop this tragic and criminal use of taxpayer money.”
— Bill Post, Oregon State Representative (District 25 – Keizer)

“Oregon’s ruling party has done incredible harm to pregnant women and their babies with HB 3391. Our state already has no abortion restrictions. Oregon taxpayers already fund 10 abortions every day. Now, they’ve gone even further to codify into law free abortions on demand, including for undocumented immigrants, and then blocked voters from having a say. Truly this is an act of tyranny.”  
— Marylin Shannon, former state Senator and a Co-Chief Petitioner for IP-1

“Ending innocent human life is horrific enough. Making hardworking citizens of Oregon pay for it, as HB 3391 does, is over the top.”
— Mike Nearman, Oregon State Representative (District 23 – Independence)

“I am proud to be a pro-life woman. Spending millions of taxpayer dollars to provide for free abortions to all is disheartening. Those dollars should be spent on educating women on birth control options and their health. Oregon has been very aggressive in passing legislation like HB 2028, which allows pharmacists to prescribe and dispense oral contraceptives to women. This legislation gave women more access to birth control without an unnecessary visit to their health care provider. I believe HB 3391 circumvents that progress.”
— Jodi Hack, Oregon State Representative (District 19 – Salem)

“Throughout our history as a nation, forcing citizen compliance in matters repugnant to their conscience by our elected representatives, has not only been unacceptable, it denies the fundamental freedoms for which millions have given their lives to defend. Denying our voice and forcing silence, especially in the matter of destroying innocent human life — using our tax dollars — is unconscionable.”
— David Crowe, President, Restore America

“The Oregon Federation of Republican Women believe in life, all life, especially while the children are in their mother’s womb. As mothers, grandmothers, and taxpayers, none of us would like to see our hard earned tax dollars used, as HB 3391 allows, in the destruction of pre-born infants.”
— Jan Williamson, State President, Oregon Federation of Republican Women

“HB 3391 is one of the most aggressive pro-abortion laws ever passed in the history of our country. Year-round, and especially during the 40 Days for Life campaigns, we pray and offer resources to women going into abortion facilities. When asked how they are paying for their abortions, many reply “I don't have to pay for it — the State’s paying for it!” which translates into taxpayers paying for it.”

HB 3391 will cause many more babies to die, which is heartbreaking. Why should our tax dollars fund the killing of innocent human life? We encourage all pro-life Oregonians to support the Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.”
— Therese Ruesink, Campaign director for 40 Days for Life, Portland

“There will be litigation over this critical issue. Oregonians have become outraged over and over this year with the tyranny of one-party rule. The fact our governor signed this bill into law means she will have to explain to our constituents why she is forcing them to pay against their will for abortions, even late-term and sex-selective abortions.” 
— Dennis Linthicum, Oregon State Senator (District 28 – Klamath Falls)

“Oregonians will not stand by and abide by this type of unrestrained extremism by the one-party majority. This bill is out-of-mainstream and violates the consciences of many Oregonians.”
— Kim Thatcher, Oregon State Senator (District 13 – Keizer)

Your church. This summer.


Oregon Life United’s aim is to give every taxpayer in the state an opportunity to cast their vote to stop public funding of abortion. And this summer, in churches large and small, volunteers across Oregon will gather many of the 117,000+ signatures needed to make this happen.

One of our newest volunteers, Susan Huntley, recently coordinated a petition drive at her church in Southern Oregon called Trail Christian Fellowship. This past weekend, Susan and her team of volunteers were able to gather about 300 signatures on the first day of their petition drive.

Susan said members of her church have been eager to sign this petition. “They really want to see this on the 2018 ballot!”

“Being organized ahead of time — having volunteers ready and trained, having enough signature sheets and supplies — helped a lot,” she added. “We plan on collecting signatures three more Sundays this summer.”

Your church, this summer

It’s no secret that participation by Oregon churches is critical to the success of this petition drive. Simply put, we will only be successful when the Church (capital C) determines together to take a stand on behalf of women and babies who are being harmed by abortion.

We are grateful for the more than 350 faith communities who have already signed up to help gather signatures. We’re well on the way to reaching our goal of 500 participating churches by the end of this summer.

Do you attend a local church? Here are a few ways your church can be involved:

  1. Talk about the petition from the pulpit. These speaking notes (PDF) can help you or your pastor to communicate with church members about the petition.

  2. Gather signatures before and after church services. We recommend scheduling your petition drive on two or more consecutive weekends this summer.

  3. Pray for other churches to become involved. Also pray for wisdom and protection for petition organizers, those who are helping to gather signatures, and others who are on the front lines of this important battle.

What pastors are saying

Dozens of leaders and pastors from many denominations — including Catholic, Baptist, Nazarene, Assemblies of God, Calvary Chapel, and more — have added their names to our list of supporters. Here’s what some of them are saying:

“Too many unborn lives have been cut short by abortion, and too many women (and men) are suffering the emotional consequences of their decisions. I hope you will join me in making this a priority...”
— Bill Wilson, Lead Pastor, Oregon Ministry Network 

“Signing your name to this petition can make the difference between life and death for our tiny brothers and sisters hidden from our sight in the darkness of the womb.”
— Bishop Liam Cary, Catholic Diocese of Baker

“I highly encourage prolife churches to get involved with circulating petitions in an effort to help stop taxpayer funding of abortion in Oregon.”
— Randy Alcorn, author of Why ProLife? and more than fifty other books

How to get started

Talk with your pastor this week about why protecting women and babies from abortion is personally important to you. Then, ask for permission to gather signatures on Sunday mornings (or whatever day your church meets).

In order to be the most effective with your petition drive, you’ll want to get organized. Here are some links to get you started:

  1. Print this step-by-step planning checklist

  2. Order petition sheets

  3. Watch this 90-second training video

Additionally, you’ll find resources for planning and promoting your petition drive at www.StopTheFunding.org/churches.

If you have any questions about gathering signatures at your church this summer, click the link above or contact Shannon Henshaw at (541) 286-3039 ext. 702 or shannon@oregonlifeunited.org.