The state of Oregon is in the process of enacting a law that would force taxpayers to fund abortions. HB 3391, The Reproductive Health Equity Act, passed the Senate last week on a party-line vote and aims to counteract the potential repealing of the Affordable Care Act.
Among other things, the bill mandates that all insurance plans offer coverage for elective abortion without co-pay, including to noncitizens, and sets aside over 10 million taxpayer dollars to cover the cost of abortions and other reproductive health services through the state Medicaid program. The bill has already passed both the House and Senate in Oregon. Gov. Kate Brown, a former abortion lobbyist, has confirmed that she will sign it into law soon.
Oregon boasts some of the most liberal abortion laws in the United States, “with no informed consent for women, no waiting for the major surgery of abortion, no parental consent or even parental notification for minors, no ambulance-ready requirements, and no basic safeguards required for all other surgical centers.”
This bill expands on that, and appears to disregard taxpayers in Oregon who object to their hard-earned dollars subsidizing the destruction of preborn human beings. While the Hyde Amendment continues to ensure that federal tax dollars do not subsidize abortion, it allows state tax dollars to reimburse for elective abortions.
This Is a Planned Parenthood Moneymaker
There are currently 11 abortion clinics in the state of Oregon, eight of which are Planned Parenthoods. Not all of the money allocated by this bill will go toward funding elective abortion, of course, but the fact that Planned Parenthood was a sponsor of this legislation makes it clear that they will benefit significantly from it.
At a time when a large chunk of Planned Parenthood’s federal funding is in danger of being cut off, this bill bolsters the funding they receive from taxpayers. It’s no secret that Planned Parenthood is basically an extension of the Democratic Party (remember how much money PP threw into that run-off election in Georgia last month?), and this bill passed the Senate on a party-line vote.
While party-line votes are not necessarily uncommon, Republicans in Oregon’s legislative body voiced several concerns, including that any Oregonian taxpayers should be forced to hand over their money for a practice they find morally abhorrent. Abortion advocates will claim that the morality of abortion has nothing to do with whether it should be funded. But that claim belies the nature of abortion and what it does to an unborn child, a truth that is not lost on the American people.
Even Heavy PR Pushes Aren’t Changing Americans’ Minds
Consider the most recent Gallup poll on abortion. It indicates that attitudes toward abortion have remained largely unchanged since they began doing the annual survey in 2001. One might be surprised given that the last several years have brought us a persistent push from abortion supporters to normalize its atrocities. For example:
In 2015, the #shoutyourabortion campaign was launched, encouraging women who were proud of their abortions to brag about them on Twitter.
Also in 2015, Kerry Washington’s character on the ABC show “Scandal” underwent an abortion while “Silent Night” played in the background. This was roundly cheered by abortion advocates and mainstream media.
Cecile Richards, CEO of Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, persistently urges women to talk about their abortions in the attempt to reduce the stigma surrounding it. And so on.
Yet despite this, the percentage of Americans who find abortion morally acceptable still dangles below 50 percent. It’s noteworthy that while support for other progressive social causes has gone up (same-sex marriage, for example), support for abortion has seen no such increase in support. There is little question that the reason the push to normalize abortion has been unsuccessful is because people are still easily able to grasp the reality of abortion despite the best efforts of those who seek to normalize it.
Forcing People to Pay for a Moral Atrocity
Individuals who reject government funding of abortion do so with good reason. While abortion advocates maintain that abortion is a woman’s right, it’s clear that the objective of every abortion is terminating a human life. Abortion is a direct violation of the innocent preborn child’s right to live and be safe from harm. The right to life is the first and foremost right given to all human beings, and as such, abortion is a human rights violation of the highest magnitude.
The fact that abortion violates the rights of preborn children is exactly why no government has any business forcing taxpayers to violate their consciences to subsidize it. Founding Father James Madison called conscience an inalienable right, and the most sacred of property. Conscience rights matter, and taxpayers in Oregon are now being forced to violate their consciences and become complicit in a human rights violation. Demanding that taxpayers participate in a human rights violation is itself a human rights violation, and should be rejected as such.
It’s already difficult to stomach the fact that abortion is the law of the land. It’s bad enough that the best we can do is ask women who want to terminate the lives growing in them to use their own money to do so. For years and years, pro-lifers have listened to abortion advocates maintain that abortion is a “private decision” between a woman and her doctor.
But this new law makes it even worse for those who stand against the destruction of defenseless preborn children. It’s no longer a decision between a woman and her doctor. It’s now a decision between a woman, her doctor, and the taxpayer’s wallet.
This Is No Garden-Variety Objection
Now, one could certainly contend that federal and state governments fund many things taxpayers find morally unacceptable. One may not like this thing or that thing the government does with taxpayer dollars. We all have our complaints about how the government uses our money. Yet when it comes to abortion, the magnitude of the issue changes the nature of the complaint.
It is a biological fact that during every completed abortion procedure, at least one innocent human being is killed. A taxpayer who objects to public funding of abortion is voicing a different type of complaint than “I really wish they wouldn’t use my money for that.” Abortion deprives an entire demographic of human beings of the right to live. People who object to a government using their money to end the lives of preborn children should have their concerns respected and honored.
And many people seem to understand that. A poll taken prior to the election last year found that only 36 percent of likely voters support federal funding of abortion. The discrepancy between those who support taxpayer funding for abortion (36 percent) and the percentage of people who believe abortion is morally acceptable (43 percent) is interesting and indicates a sort of dissonance in those who find the practice acceptable. Presumably, some of the people who find it morally acceptable do not support forcing taxpayers to subsidize it, perhaps highlighting their understanding of the nature of abortion and why some people object.
Nevertheless, Democratic lawmakers in Oregon have neglected the conscience rights of taxpayers and will soon enshrine into law a bill that allows taxpayer dollars to fund the destruction of innocent human life. The bill is yet another example of liberal state governments forcing radical ideologies on their citizens. This type of government encroachment on the conscience rights of its citizens should be outright rejected.