Oregon House Democrats pushed through a radical pro-abortion bill to force health insurers and taxpayers to pay for free abortions for residents and illegal immigrants.
The Reproductive Health Equality Act passed the Oregon House on Saturday without a single Republican vote, according to The Washington Times. The bill passed in a 33-23 vote before moving to the state Senate for consideration.
The pro-abortion bill would require health insurers to provide free abortions to patients without a co-pay. It also would set aside $10.2 million tax dollars for abortions, contraception and other reproductive health services for 2017 through 2019 in Medicaid, much of which pro-life advocates say will go to Planned Parenthood, the report states.
Pro-life Republicans tried to block the bill but did not have enough votes to succeed.
Gayle Atteberry, executive director of Oregon Right to Life, described the bill as a huge gift to the nation’s largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood.
“This terrible legislation is just another example of how Oregon’s largest abortion provider’s only real concern is for their financial bottom line,” she said in a statement. “The Oregon Health Authority testified that HB 3391-B will provide almost $500,000 more for abortions. Make no mistake: most of this money is going to Planned Parenthood.”
The pro-life organization noted that Planned Parenthood has been doing more abortions and fewer real health care services in the past few years. This is according to the abortion group’s own annual reports.
In a statement, Oregon House Democrats indicated that the bill is a direct response to President Donald Trump and pro-life federal lawmakers. Right now, U.S. Senate lawmakers are debating a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood of hundreds of millions of tax dollars.
The Oregon Democrats responded, “Even while the Trump Administration and Republicans in Congress are trying to strip away reproductive rights [abortion], Oregon is ensuring access regardless of income, citizenship status, gender identity, or type of insurance.”
Here’s more from the report:
The measure provides an abortion exemption for churches and religious nonprofits, notably Providence Health Plans, a Catholic-sponsored health-care group that covers 260,000 Oregonians and had threatened to exit the individual and group insurance markets if forced to cover the procedure.
Republicans called the exemption too narrow, while Oregon Right to Life said it came with it the creation of a program “that will provide free abortions to Providence plan enrollees,” but that the cost is still unknown, as is the impact on insurance costs.
“How much will insurance rates spike by forcing all insurance plans to cover abortions with no co-pays or deductibles?” asked the pro-life group.
Oregon Right to Life said the exemption is not protective enough.
“While there is a so-called religious exemption within the bill, it does not guarantee insurance options that do not cover abortions,” the group explained. “Currently, almost all insurance companies in Oregon offer plans that cover abortions, but that is not a requirement under law. HB 3391-B would force health insurance companies to cover abortions and leave it up to them whether to provide a separate abortion-free plan for religious organizations.”
Oregon Democrats claimed the bill is about ensuring access to “health care,” but it really is about abortion. And their pro-abortion beliefs represent just a small minority.
Polls consistently show that many Americans think abortion is morally troubling because it involves the killing of an innocent human being’s life. What’s more, polls indicate that poorer Americans are some of the least supportive of taxpayer-funded abortions.
A Politico/Harvard University poll in October 2016 found that voters who make more than $75,000 were more supportive of forcing taxpayers to fund abortions (45 percent in favor), while those who make $25,000 or less were strongly against it (24 percent in favor). In other words, the people most likely to qualify for a Medicaid-covered, taxpayer-funded abortion are the ones who oppose it the most.
Overall, the poll found very little support for taxpayer-funded abortions. Just 36 percent of likely voters supported the issue, while 58 percent opposed it. These findings are consistent with previous polls from various groups.
Action: To ask your elected officials to vote no on HB 3391, please click here.