Oregon Voters Will Decide if Residents Should be Forced to Fund Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jul 27, 2018   |   6:42PM   |   Salem, OR

Oregon voters will have the opportunity to decide if they want their tax dollars to continue funding elective abortions this fall.

On Friday, state election workers confirmed that Initiative Petition 1 had enough valid signatures to be placed on the November ballot, The Oregonian reports. The petition had 117,799 valid signatures, 221 more than the minimum requirement, according to the report.

Volunteers with Oregon Life United said they spent more than a year collecting the signatures.

“I am so proud of our team. This milestone has been seven years in the making, and we didn’t give up,” said Jeff Jimerson, one of the pro-life organizers. “Oregon voters deserve a chance to have a say. It’s wrong to force taxpayers to fund procedures that are not medically necessary — especially something as controversial as abortion.”

The ballot initiative will ask voters if they want to amend the state constitution with the following language: “The state shall not spend public funds for any abortion, except when medically necessary or as may be required by federal law.”

Oregon is one of 17 states that forces taxpayers to fund abortions. About 3,700 unborn babies’ abortion deaths were paid for by Oregon taxpayers in fiscal year 2015-2016, or about 10 per day, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

West Virginia voters will see a similar ballot question in November. State taxpayers have paid about $10 million for about 35,000 unborn babies’ abortion deaths as a result of a 1993 court ruling that claimed to find a state constitutional right to abortion.

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Polls consistently show that most Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions. A Marist poll found that two-thirds of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, including a majority of women and people who identify as pro-choice.

In October 2016, a Politico/Harvard University poll also found that just 36 percent of likely voters supported taxpayer funding for abortions, while 58 percent opposed it.

These are the 17 states that force taxpayers to fund elective abortions:

  • Alaska (court order)
  • Arizona (court order)
  • California (court order)
  • Connecticut (court order)
  • Hawaii (voluntarily)
  • Illinois (voluntary)
  • Maryland (voluntarily)
  • Massachusetts (court order)
  • Minnesota (court order)
  • Montana (court order)
  • New Jersey (court order)
  • New Mexico (court order)
  • New York (voluntarily)
  • Oregon (court order)
  • Vermont (court order)
  • Washington (voluntarily)
  • West Virginia (court order)