Oregon Senate Republicans are not backing down from their protest blocking a radical bill that would allow girls as young as 10 to have abortions – or be coerced by an abuser – without their parents’ knowledge.
For nearly three weeks, Republican and independent lawmakers have denied a quorum in the Oregon Senate and blocked action on the pro-abortion bill and other legislation. Senate rules require two thirds of lawmakers to be present to vote on legislation.
On Tuesday, state Republican leaders said they will not return until June 25, the last day of the legislative session and enough time to pass the state budget, Fox News reports.
“While Democrats are laser focused on the issues that do nothing but divide, we are focused on the real issues Oregonians care most about – homelessness, affordable housing, public safety, cost of living, job creation, and fully-funded education. We are committed to getting the People’s work done, not facilitating an extreme, unlawful, unconstitutional agenda,” Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp said in a statement last week.
Among their primary objections is state House Bill 2002B, which would deny parents’ rights by eliminating all age limits for abortion. If it passes, abortion providers would be allowed to abort unborn babies on girls of any age without informing their parents. Only if the girl explicitly gives written permission would her parents be informed.
State Republican leaders said Democrats are hiding the truth about the bill from voters, and it’s “too extreme for Oregon.”
ACTION ALERT: Contact Oregon Senate lawmakers and urge them to oppose this radical bill.
“[This bill] allows a child of any age, without parental knowledge, to receive an abortion,” the Oregon Senate GOP said earlier this month on Twitter. “This will increase the vulnerability of young girls to be sex-trafficked. … HB 2002B is nothing but an extreme attack on parents and children.”
In April during a House committee meeting, an attorney for the Oregon Legislature confirmed “a minor of any age” – such as a 10-year-old girl — could have an abortion without her parents’ knowledge if the bill passes, according to a video shared by Oregon House Republicans.
Sponsored by state Rep. Rob Nosse, D-Portland, the wide-reaching legislation also protects abortionists if they violate other states’ pro-life laws, and eliminates the crime of “concealing the birth of an infant,” effectively shielding abortion providers who end the life of a baby who survives an abortion. Another provision forces public colleges and universities to provide dangerous abortion pills on campus.
“It’s hard to comprehend how this kind of legislation is being defended by some in the legislature,” said Lois Anderson, executive director of Oregon Right to Life, after the bill passed the House.
Senate Republicans said the bill also would allow young children to have irreversible sex-change hormones and surgeries, covered by their parents’ insurance plans, without their parents being informed.
“We are the last line of defense to hold the majority accountable,” Knopp told Fox News in an email this week.
For their actions, the lawmakers are risking punishment. A new state law imposes financial penalties on lawmakers for walking out and denying a quorum. It also prohibits lawmakers from running for re-election if they have at least 10 unexcused absences.
Since the walk-out began, nine Republicans and one independent lawmaker have had at least 10 unexcused absences, according to the report. They are expected to file a lawsuit challenging the law.
Democrats control the Oregon Legislature, and they repeatedly have blasted Republicans for their protest. Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Kate Lieber, D-Beaverton, described the walk-out as “embarrassing” while portraying the radical pro-abortion bill as one that simply “protect[s] reproductive health freedom.”
Polls consistently show strong public support for parental consent for minors and opposition to taxpayer funding for elective abortions.
Oregon has very few restrictions on abortion, and its governor has been working with leaders in Washington and California to expand elective abortions even more, including by devoting millions of taxpayer dollars to destroying unborn babies’ lives. Last year, the state legislature approved $15 million to pay for women in and out of state to travel for abortions and increase the number of abortion facilities in the state.