Will expansion of abortion funding get voters’ attention?
Oregon is one of a handful of states that uses taxpayer money to directly pay for abortions through the state health exchanges. According to the Oregon Health Authority, the state shelled out almost $2.5 million in taxpayer funds in the 2015-16 fiscal year. Jeff Jimerson who heads Oregon Life United says that’s not only quite a bill, but also quite a number of deaths.
“Here in Oregon that works out to be about ten abortions every day,” he shares. “For the last fiscal year, we’re looking at about 3,700 abortions that were funded through the Oregon health plan – so what we’re working on is a constitutional amendment that would prohibit that with the exception to save the life of the mother.”
This will be the third attempt at a petition drive to accomplish it, but Jimerson tells OneNewsNow he’s hopeful the taxpayers will sit up and take notice this time.
“The state legislature just passed a law [HB 3391] that expands taxpayer-funded abortions,” he points out. “So this is the first time it’s been expanded in decades – and suddenly this is waking up many people who have frankly been asleep [on the issue] for the last 30 years.”
Under the new law, women who live in Oregon can obtain abortions at no cost now through insurance, but the state pays for other abortions – even for women in the U.S. illegally. In fact, according to the pro-life group, Oregon is the only state without any abortion restrictions.
Oregon Life United has already launched the petition drive to obtain at least 117,000 signatures to put the proposed amendment on the ballot for the November 2018 election. Already, 400 churches have volunteered to help, with teams going to concerts, parades, festivals, and county fairs to solicit signatures. Hardcopies of the petition are available online and can be printed out.