Oregon House Bill 3391, which provides “free abortions for all,” is now the law of the land. The far-reaching legislation is receiving national press coverage for significantly expanding taxpayer-funded abortion in the state. Here’s what you need to know, and how Oregon’s pro-life community can push back.
What the law does
First, HB 3391 requires all private health insurers to offer free abortions without restrictions or copays. The one exception is Providence Health Plans, which had threatened to pull out of the state because of the abortion requirement. Instead, individuals covered by Providence will soon be able to obtain free, taxpayer-funded abortions through the Oregon Health Plan.
Second, it gives $10.2 million to expand the Oregon Health Authority in order to provide “services, drugs, devices, products and procedures” for undocumented residents, $500,000 of which would specifically be used for abortions.
Additionally, beyond expanding taxpayer-funded abortion, the law goes further by specifically barring public employees from inhibiting or restricting access to abortion in any way.
ABC News summarized the law like this: “In some states such as New York, abortions are cost-free if they're deemed medically necessary. The Oregon bill is unique, however, in that patients would have access to the procedure for virtually any reason, at any time, including sex-selective and late-term abortions.”
In short, it’s one of the most aggressive pro-abortion laws ever passed in the history of our country.
Who’s behind it
Planned Parenthood, along with a coalition of other pro-abortion organizations, took credit for the bill in a press release issued on Wednesday. “The Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon … developed the legislation over the past two years with input from community leaders and legislators,” it said.
The chief sponsors of HB 3391 are House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson (Portland), Representatives Julie Fahey (Eugene) and Jeff Barker (Aloha), and Senators Richard Devlin (Tualatin) and Laurie Monnes Anderson (Gresham).
The bill passed the Oregon House by a vote of 33-23 on July 1, and on Wednesday the state Senate voted 17-13 to send it to Governor Kate Brown’s desk for final approval. Every legislator who voted in favor of HB 3391 is a Democrat.
UPDATE: Governor Brown, who has previously received campaign contributions from Planned Parenthood, signed the bill into law on August 15. (Read more here.)
The big winner here is clearly Planned Parenthood. According to the Oregon Health Authority, $23.8 million was paid to Planned Parenthood and other clinics for abortions covered by the Oregon Health Plan over the past 14 fiscal years. This new law dramatically increases the amount of taxpayer money funneled into the abortion industry.
Pregnant women and their babies will be hurt the most by this legislation. It’s long been known that Oregon is the only U.S. state without any laws to protect society’s most vulnerable members from abortion. Now our state’s ruling party has gone even further by codifying into law a mother’s ability to kill her own offspring, at taxpayer expense no less.
With this latest expansion of abortion funding, Oregonians who don’t want their tax dollars used for the destruction of human life are also losing big with this bill. HB 3391 increases the moral and financial burden on Oregon taxpayers who are already being forced to pay for 10 abortions each day under the Oregon Health Plan (OHP).
Lastly, the rights of Oregon voters are being attacked by this legislation as well. By declaring the law an emergency, lawmakers have stripped citizens of their right to challenge the law by voter referendum. This is truly an act of tyranny.
How Oregon’s pro-life community should respond
It’s hard not to be discouraged by a law that is so devastating on so many levels. It hurts pregnant women and babies. It violates the conscious of taxpayers. And it handcuffs voters from exercising their rights.
Despite all of this, there are some positive ways the pro-life community can and should respond.
To begin, we can all take a moment right now to pray for an awakening in the Church. Many Christians, including pastors, are slowly becoming aware to the plight of the unborn. Pray that this ungodly law would stir more of God’s people into action.
Next, we can make a commitment today to support the Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act. This grassroots citizen’s initiative, led by Oregon Life United, will block the stream of taxpayer dollars now funding approximately 3,700 abortions annually through OHP. This initiative will also reverse the expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion mandated by HB 3391.
117,000 valid signatures are needed to qualify our pro-life measure for the next statewide ballot. Hundreds of individuals have recently requested petitions from our website, StopTheFunding.org, and an estimated 75,000 signatures (as of September 12) have been mailed back so far. While this is a great start, we have work to do!
The two biggest ways you can help are by gathering signatures and making a financial contribution. Many people are finding great success circulating the petition at their churches. If your church hasn’t yet held a petition drive this summer, talk with your pastor right away about why this is ballot initiative is so important.
As to financial needs, because of our many committed volunteers we’re able to accomplish a lot with a relatively small budget. Still, approximately $5,000 per month is needed to facilitate this statewide petition drive.
Urgent action needed
Babies are dying in Oregon today because of taxpayer-funded abortion. It’s hard to predict how many more lives will be lost if this new law is not reversed. Please follow the links below to take action now.
» Sign the petition to stop our tax dollars from funding abortions.
» Request petition sheets and help us gather the 117,578 signatures needed.
» Make a financial contribution to help us cover our expenses.
This article was updated on September 12, 2017