A chilling new development in Oregon legislature has sanctity of life advocates extremely concerned, and rightfully so.
Governor Kate Brown of Oregon — a Democrat — released a statement on Thursday of her intentions to sign a bill mandating that insurance companies cover the abortions of their customers free of charge, regardless of the individual’s citizenship. (via The Washington Times)
The bill, which is known as the Reproductive Health Equity Act, has already been voted on and approved by the Oregon Senate. Its next stop is Governor Brown’s office, where it is expected to reach within the next few days. The funding mechanism is an allocation of $10 million to a fund to cover abortion costs. It is also expected to ensure that Oregon residents are entitled to Affordable Care Act benefits, regardless of whether or not the act is eventually repealed.
The proposed bill will also provide abortion coverage for illegal and undocumented immigrants who are not otherwise eligible for Affordable Care Act benefits.
According to Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon’s press release, the Reproductive Heath Equity Act’s (HB 3391) mandates are as follows:
- Safeguard the right to abortion if Roe v. Wade were overturned.
- Protect no-cost coverage for preventive reproductive health care for every Oregonian with commercial health insurance if the Affordable Care Act were overturned.
- Expand post-partum care to about 48,000 Oregonians of reproductive age who have coverage for labor and delivery that drops immediately after birth.
- Make safe, legal abortion more affordable and accessible for about 43,000 Oregon women of reproductive age who have high-deductible policies.
- Help more than 18,600 Oregon women of reproductive age who are forced to pay out-of-pocket costs for preventive health services, including contraception.
- Remove procedural barriers that hinder access to lifesaving cancer screenings for transgender and gender-nonconforming Oregonians.
While many would argue that the post-natal benefits are a much-needed addition to healthcare reform, it’s clear that the basis for the bill is to solidify the “right” to terminate an unborn child’s life. And not everyone agrees with the ruling.
Spokesman for the Oregon Senate Republican Conference, Jonathan Lockwood, said, “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.” He emphasized that “This bill is nothing more than a political gift card to Planned Parenthood, and we’ve seen Planned Parenthood engaged in political actions.”
But while Republicans are working hard to affect the outcome of this bill, Democrats control both chambers of Oregon’s legislature, making it difficult for the party to be heard. In fact, Oregon is the most liberal state in the U.S. on the controversial matter of abortion.
The bill was passed with zero Republican votes and is an obvious nod to Planned Parenthood, whose Oregon offices have been struggling to remain open. This will provide more than $10 million to their bottom line should Governor Brown sign the bill as she has promised, effectively giving all Oregon citizens and non-citizens alike the chance for free abortion services for any reason they themselves deem necessary.
State Representative Mike Nearman (R-Salem) says he doesn’t understand the need for the new legislation. “We don’t need to do this. This is Oregon. There [are] no legal restrictions on anyone’s right to get an abortion,” he said, according to The Washington Times.
As abortion advocates such as Planned Parenthood continue to push their radical agenda forward, it is imperative that the pro-life community remains steadfast in action and in prayer.