Ore­gon’s abor­tion busi­ness gets weirder

Soon ev­ery­one, even men, will be en­ti­tled to a ‘free’ abor­tion

The Washington Times Weekly - - Editorials -

Ore­gon’s state motto is “Alis volat pro­priis,” Latin for “She flies with her own wings.” It’s nice sen­ti­ment, full of boast and swag­ger, but the bird as­pires to be a cuckoo, with two left wings mak­ing it dif­fi­cult to fly straight. This month Ore­gon be­came the first state, af­ter the Dis­trict of Columbia, which is def­i­nitely not a state, to make gen­der-neu­tral driver’s li­censes avail­able to the tiny num­ber of sex­u­ally con­fused Ore­go­ni­ans who want them.

If that isn’t cuckoo enough, Ore­gon is poised to be­come the first state to re­quire in­sur­ance com­pa­nies to pro­vide “free” abor­tions as a guar­an­teed ben­e­fit, with­out co-pays, co-in­sur­ance or de­ductibles. There’s more. The state would pro­vide pub­licly funded abor­tions for in­come-el­i­gi­ble il­le­gal im­mi­grants and trans­gen­dered Ore­go­ni­ans, the lat­ter pre­sum­ably in­spired by a Time mag­a­zine es­say about “my brother’s preg­nancy.” The jokes write them­selves, but the jokes are not so funny to Ore­go­nian tax­pay­ers who will pick up the tab for House Bill 3391, which car­ries a $10.2 mil­lion cost.

HB 3391, the imag­i­na­tively named Re­pro­duc­tive Health Eq­uity Act, en­sures that all Ore­go­ni­ans re­ceive “the full range of pre­ven­ta­tive re­pro­duc­tive health ser­vices at no out-of-pocket cost — re­gard­less of their in­come, cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus, gen­der iden­tity, or type of in­sur­ance.”

This leg­is­la­tion passed both houses of the Ore­gon leg­is­la­ture with­out a sin­gle Repub­li­can vote. One Demo­crat voted “no.”

The leg­is­la­tion now goes to Gov. Kate Brown, an openly bi­sex­ual Demo­crat, who is ea­ger to sign it into law.

“At­tempts to deny ac­cess to con­tra­cep­tives and fam­ily plan­ning are an at­tack on all Ore­go­ni­ans, par­tic­u­larly women of color, low-in­come and young women,” the gover­nor says. HB 3391 also de­fies the con­sciences and deeply held re­li­gious be­liefs of hun­dreds of thou­sands of Ore­go­ni­ans. The gover­nor has not said any­thing about those.

The Re­pro­duc­tive Health Eq­uity Act might more ac­cu­rately be called the Planned Par­ent­hood Fi­nan­cial Shot-in-the-Arm Act. Planned Par­ent­hood’s Ore­gon af­fil­i­ate helped draft the mea­sure and pushed for its pas­sage.

Ore­gon has some of the most lib­eral abor­tion laws in the United States, but Planned Par­ent­hood’s Ore­gon af­fil­i­ate is reel­ing. Four abor­tion clin­ics have been closed and the num­ber of abor­tions in the state dropped 15 per­cent be­tween 2011 and 2014, ac­cord­ing to the Guttmacher In­sti­tute, the one­time re­search arm of Planned Par­ent­hood. This in­evitably dam­ages Planned Par­ent­hood’s thriv­ing busi­ness in sell­ing the body parts of aborted ba­bies.

“We are both a sanc­tu­ary state for il­le­gal aliens, and we are a sanc­tu­ary state for … tax­payer-sub­si­dized abor­tion,” says state Sen. Dennis Linthicum, a Repub­li­can. “We should not be show­er­ing po­lit­i­cally well-con­nected abor­tion clin­ics with po­lit­i­cal gift cards un­der the guise of ‘eq­uity.’ That is to­tally dis­cred­itable.”

Ore­gon vot­ers may get the fi­nal word. The state with the very, very lib­eral abor­tion laws (and about to be­come even more so) also has one of the eas­i­est meth­ods of or­ga­niz­ing a ref­er­en­dum on the work of a leg­is­la­ture. Op­po­nents of HB 3391 need only col­lect the sig­na­tures of 58,789 reg­is­tered vot­ers to put it to a peo­ple’s veto vote. The leg­is­la­ture ad­journed July 7, and op­po­nents now have un­til Oct. 5 to col­lect the req­ui­site sig­na­tures to make that hap­pen.

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