Oregon Right to Life surveyed 500 likely Oregon general election voters over January 28-29, 2018. The results of the statewide poll show 70% opposition to late-term abortions. Only 36% of Democrats still support late-term abortions.
The 2018 legislative short session began on February 5th. Oregon Right to Life supports two late-term unborn child protection bills to ensure late-term babies are protected.
“These common sense bills not only protect late-term babies who can feel pain, they also will bring Oregon law in-line with the values of most Oregonians,” said ORTL Executive Director Lois Anderson. “It’s time the leaders of Oregon’s Democratic party admit that abortion on demand is not the will of the voters–not even of those in their own party.”
HB 4057, the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Bill, was introduced by Representative E. Werner Reschke (R – HD 56). This bill is very similar to the federal Unborn Child Protection Act as it limits abortions from being performed past the gestational age of 20 weeks, except in cases of a medical emergency. Extensive medical research has shown that at 20 weeks an unborn child’s pain receptors have developed throughout their entire body.
“At the 20-week stage of development an unborn baby can sleep and even suck his/her thumb. Moreover, embryology tells us that this unborn baby can feel pain. This horrific act of abortion becomes more sinister after week 20 because the baby can feel pain, like you and I, as the baby’s life is brutally ended,” stated Representative E. Werner Reschke.
HB 4101, the Sex-Selective Abortion Ban, was introduced by Representative Duane Stark (R – HD 4). This bill protects a child from being aborted during the third trimester solely on the basis of gender.
Sex-selection for birth still occurs in Oregon. A recent example can be found in the Willamette Week. Real estate mogul Jordan Schnitzer contracted with a surrogate for the specific purpose of having a son. According to the article, he “would not accept just any baby—he’d only take a boy.” Currently, Oregon law does not protect babies from an abortion if they are unwanted due to their gender. Nine other states in the nation have prohibited sex-selective abortions.
“Every life is equally sacred. It is our responsibility to protect life regardless of gender,” said Rep. Stark.
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Both HB 4057 and HB 4101 would reduce the number of abortions performed after 20 weeks. The procedure used to perform an abortion at this stage is called dilation and evacuation (D&E). D&E uses sharp instruments to twist and tear the baby’s body into pieces until it is entirely removed from the womb. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy stated that this procedure causes the fetus to die “just as a human adult or child would: it bleeds to death as it is torn from limb from limb.”
Currently in Oregon there are no restrictions on abortions. A woman can obtain an abortion right until the moment of birth. These bills would significantly reduce the 200 late-term abortions that occur every year in Oregon.