but GOP lawmakers say it does not go far enough
A bill that increases state spending on abortion by $10.2 million is moving through the Oregon Legislature.
The bill includes a religious exemption, but it orders the Oregon Health Authority to provide coverage where religious organizations will not.
The House majority leader, Rep. Jennifer Williamson, a Portland Democrat, argued for the proposed law, saying high medical bills can prompt bankruptcy or homelessness.
Pro-life lawmakers approved of most of the bill, but vigorously questioned why abortion had to be included, causing a moral crisis. They attempted to have abortion provisions removed, but that motion failed.
Rep. Werner Reschke, R-Klamath Falls accused supporters of the bill of promoting abortion coverage as if being pregnant were a disease.
The House vote was 33 for and 23 against.
The bill also allocates almost $500,000 in the 2017-19 budget for abortions and other procedures to immigrants. Oregon’s Medicaid program already spends nearly $2 million a year to pay for about 3,500 abortions.
Oregon already accommodates and provides for abortion more than most states. There are no waiting periods, education requirements or spending limits on taxpayer funds.
Democrats drafted the bill in response to possible changes in federal health care policy.
Earlier, Providence Health System had threatened to exit the state’s insurance market, saying the religious exemptions did not go far enough. Though the bill’s handlers did increase exemptions, GOP lawmakers say the provisions still fall short.
Bill Diss, leader of Precious Children of Portland, calls the proposed law “fundamentally an abortion bill that will boost the coffers of abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.” Diss says other portions of the bill could be accomplished “without further funding and promoting the killing of unborn children.”
Please donate to Precious Children of Portland and receive a tax-exemption by sending it to:
ORTLEF – PCOP
4335 River Road North
Salem, Oregon 97303