Free Abortions For Illegals In Oregon May Actually Help The Pro-Life Movement


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Grace Carr Reporter
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Oregon’s pending abortion bill that would provide free abortions up to term for illegal immigrants may actually provide pro-lifers with some new energy, opponents say.

Oregon’s pending health care bill — the Reproductive Health Equity Act — gives more than $10 million to the state’s Medicaid program, with $500,000 set aside for abortions, the Washington Times reported Tuesday. The legislation, developed by Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion groups, requires insurance companies to offer free abortions to all customers regardless of their ability to pay or their legal status.

The bill, however, is “not what Oregonians want, and I think it will be a big part of the campaign next year,” David Kilda director at Oregon Right to Life, told the Washington Times.

He thinks the provision to provide abortion to those who are not even legal residents of the U.S. will backfire on the pro-abortion movement, citing the $60 million that the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee gave towards the “War on Women” project in 2014, which ultimately had little effect come mid-term elections.

“I think a lot of people were already concerned about the number of abortions in the state that are paid for by taxpayer dollars,” said Shannon Henshaw, an organizer at Oregon Life United. “And because H.B. 3391 is so extreme, I think it’s generated some additional fervor to put a stop to that,” she added.

House Bill 3391 would require all Oregon insurance companies to cover abortions for free except those who have gotten specific exemptions due to religious beliefs or practices. It passed the Oregon House last month and currently awaits the signature of Democratic Gov. Kate Brown, a former abortion rights lobbyist. (Related: Oregon Gov. Expected To Sign Bill Forcing Insurers To Cover Free Abortions).

Planned Parenthood Advocacy director Laurel Swerdlow lauded the bill as a real step in progress, praising the very real possibility that soon anyone in Oregon who wants an abortion will be able to get one regardless of “where they live or how much money they make or who provides their health insurance,” according to the Washington Times.

“I think the statement of Gov. Brown signing this bill would be that abortion is a central part of her campaign,” Kilda also said. “And we’ll make sure the voters know that,” he said, hedging his bets that it might not serve Brown and her compatriots as well as she might think.

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