Oregon Caught Breaking Law, Using $1.8 Million in Federal Tax Dollars to Pay for Abortions

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 21, 2017   |   4:24PM   |   Washington, DC

A new audit has caught the state of Oregon breaking federal law by using $1.8 million dollars in federal taxpayer funds to pay for abortions.

The audit comes just after the state legislature approved a law allowing taxpayer funding of abortions, including for illegal immigrants. The new law came despite massive opposition from pro-life organizations throughout the state.

The new audit information comes from Oregon Health Authority director Patrick Allen, who wrote a letter to pro-abortion Governor Kate Brown last Friday that just became publicly available. The report was Allen’s first biweekly update to Gov. Kate Brown, who directed Allen to submit them in a Nov. 7 letter. Allen’s letter was first reported by the East Oregonian on Friday.

Allen laid out problems that ranged from the state paying Medicaid benefits for unauthorized immigrants to incorrectly using federal funds to pay for abortions. Allen was careful to say that in most cases, staffers are still investigating the problems and the figures and other details will likely change as they learn more.

About abortions, here’s what the new report said about Oregon breaking federal law:

The state estimates it used $1.8 million or so in federal funds for abortions, which it will have to repay. Federal law generally bans using federal funds to pay for abortions, although there are exceptions for cases of rape, incest and when the pregnant woman’s life is in danger.

The audit comes after Brown signed a bill that would force health insurers and taxpayers to pay for free abortions for residents and illegal immigrants.

The pro-abortion law 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.

Abortions must now be covered 100 percent by all insurance policies, without a copay or deductible. HB 3391 also establishes a $10 million fund for illegal immigrants’ reproductive “care,” of which $500 thousand is estimated to be spent covering abortions.

In addition, by passing HB 3391, Gov. Brown and Oregon Democrats are endangering billions in federal funding because HB 3391 violates the federal Weldon Amendment.

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The audit report indicates there could be more fallout from the audit, which noticed many other problems unrelated to abortion.

The disclosures hint at the red meat the reports could serve up to the campaign to overturn $340 million in health taxes enacted to fund the state’s Medicaid program. State auditors are also expected to release their report on the state’s Medicaid system in the upcoming weeks. Voters will decide in a Jan. 23 special election whether to keep those taxes, which lawmakers narrowly approved earlier this year.

It will be interesting to see if Oregon repays the federal government the $1.8 million it erroneously used to fund abortions. But nothing can undo the lives of the babies killed in abortions or using tax dollars from hard-working Americans nationwide to pay for them.