The radical pro-abortion agenda has met little resistance in Oregon. The west coast is governed by some of the most radical leftists in the country, but in the case of abortion regulations, Oregon has historically outdone California and Washington. It seeks to lengthen its lead in the race toward the ultimate culture of death with its latest bill, HB3391, which passed the state Senate and is heading for the desk of Governor Kate Brown. Brown’s staff-managed Twitter account certainly conveyed enthusiasm for the bill.
Yes! Yes! Yes! "Oregon Legislature Approves Reproductive Services Bill Covering Abortions, Contraceptives" https://t.co/8ifkUIHHXo
— Kate Brown (@KateBrownForOR) July 6, 2017
And seeing that Brown is a former abortion lobbyist, this bill will pass.
The Act, titled “Relating to reproductive health care; and declaring an emergency,” will force insurers to cover 100 percent of the cost of an abortion, regardless of medical necessity. Elective abortion in Oregon is now totally free. It’s either covered by one’s insurer, or else covered directly by the state through the Oregon Health Authority.
The last line of the bill reads, “This 2017 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2017 Act takes effect on its passage.”
The audacity of the radicals who wrote this bill is breathtaking. Elected Democrats don’t just want to force all Oregonians to finance abortions (for literally any reason—Oregon has the most unregulated abortion industry in the nation), but they’re calling it an emergency. It doesn’t even have a catchy Orwellian acronym to market it to the public, like “life,” or “freedom,” or “save.” Nor do they care that a good portion of their constituents don’t want to pay for a procedure they find morally repugnant (roughly one third of Oregonians believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases according to Pew polling). It’s an emergency though, so maybe they just didn’t have time for marketing.
This Forces U.S. Taxpayers To Fund Elective Abortion
HB3391, which will take effect January 1, 2018 if ratified by Gov. Brown, tasks the Oregon Health Authority with designing a program for “statewide access to abortion coverage.” It appropriates $10.2 billion from the General Fund for this purpose, but the state expressly directs the Health Authority to seek federal funding for the program. Section 5 of the bill reads:
The authority, in collaboration with the Department of Consumer and Business Services if necessary, shall explore any and all opportunities to obtain federal financial participation in the costs of implementing this section, including but not limited to waivers or demonstration projects under Title X of the Public Health Service Act or Title XIX or XXI of the Social Security Act. However, the implementation of this section is not contingent upon the authority’s receipt of a waiver or authorization to operate a demonstration project.
The Hyde Amendment currently prohibits the Federal government from funding abortions, but Oregon still receives federal dollars for its numerous programs. The Health Authority received $11.5 billion from the federal government for the 2015-2016 Biennium, drawing only $2.1 billion from the General Fund and $6 billion from “Other Funds,” as well as $11 million from the Lottery Fund.
The General Fund’s contribution to the Health Authority will effective quintuple through this act, but funding is just a game of allocation. Because the state receives federal dollars for its other programs to the tune of $21.58 billion, it can allocate more of the state’s general tax money toward programs like this one. Indeed, it may even be able to receive federal money for the parts of this bill that don’t directly pertain to abortion.
The bottom line is that so long as Oregon receives federal funding, citizens across the country are forced into indirectly helping facilitate the ending of human lives—for whatever reason the mother may give.
Oregon Has Embraced Abortion Without Limits
Oregon is racing toward a dystopian culture of death. Assisted suicide (at least that bill had the courtesy of a euphemistic title, “Death With Dignity”) has been legal in Oregon for 20 years. As the first state to legalize restricted abortion 1969, Oregon now has next to zero restrictions on the procedure—no waiting periods, no informed consent for patients, not even parental consent for minors. (Ironically, physicians are required to give informed consent for the procedure of sterilization.) Oregon’s codes are pro-death from womb to tomb, so this bill, however appalling, is not surprising.
Notice, too, how the old mantras of pro-abortion rhetoric have fallen away. Who proclaims abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare” anymore? Do Oregon Democrats care if abortion is rare, considering they want to make it free? It’s even doubtful they care much about its safety, if one considers the lack of hospital admitting privilege requirements, informed consent, tracking abortion-related maternal deaths (something every state should be doing), or even a definition of an illegal abortion, which is extremely hazardous to a woman’s health, much less a penalty for it.
Oregon residents aren’t even permitted the luxury of saying, “That’s between a woman and her doctor,” however they may personally feel about abortion. Subsidized abortion is a matter for the woman, her doctor, and the taxpayer, so in a sense, every tax-paying resident is forced into the abortion consultation. They are stuck with the bill. The radical left doesn’t want abortion to be a “private decision.” They want everyone to conform to their ideal society, where human lives are exterminated on a whim and the cost is covered by the collective.
Ironically, the same radicals who support explicit consent for the act that creates life don’t think they need your consent to have you pay for its destruction.
Is There A Way To Stop This Bill?
There is a way to halt the enforcement of this bill, though, even after it is signed into law:
If the Department of Consumer and Business Services concludes that enforcement of this section [Section 2] may adversely affect the allocation of federal funds to this state, the department may grant an exemption to the requirements but only to the minimum extent necessary to ensure the continued receipt of federal funds.
Section 2 reads: “A health benefit plan offered in this state must provide coverage for all of the following services, drugs, devices, products and procedures” and lists abortion as one of the procedures. Subhead (3) states that insurers may not impose a copay.
In other words, if Congress passed a rule saying that states may not force insurers to cover abortions, or even to cover more than 50 percent of the cost of an abortion, the power of this law could be considerably restrained, though such a rule wouldn’t stop Oregon from funding abortions directly. The Hyde Amendment prevents abortions from being covered under Medicaid and for “direct” funding of abortion, but it doesn’t prevent direct funding of abortion organizations like Planned Parenthood, much less funding states that subsidize abortion.
It is imperative that Congress bar funding to any state that subsidizes abortion or requires insurers to cover it. This is an opportunity to use the power of the purse for good, and the GOP is morally obliged to take it.