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Oregon Voters Could Restrict Taxpayer Funding of Abortion

by Countable | 10.11.18

Oregon is one of seven states with no limitations on abortions, but this November Oregonians will vote on a ballot measure that would restrict the use of public funds for abortions.

What the Initiative Does

Measure 106 would amend the Oregon Constitution to prohibit the use of public funds to pay for abortions except in cases of rape, incest, or where abortion is medically necesary to prevent the injury or death of the pregnant woman.

In Favor

Public funds shouldn’t be spent on abortions in Oregon except for when they are medically necessary. Tax dollars shouldn’t fund a practice that some find morally unconscionable.

Opposed

Women in Oregon need access to reproductive healthcare, and this would make it harder for those on Medicaid and public employees to obtain safe, affordable abortions.

In-Depth

Under current law, Oregon allows public funds to be used to pay for abortions through its Medicaid program ― the Oregon Health Plan. Because federal Medicaid funds can’t be used to fund abortions, Oregon taxpayers pay the full cost of abortions provided to Oregon Health Plan patients.

In August 2017, the Reproductive Health Equity Act was passed by the Oregon legislature on party-line votes and signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown (D), which required that health plans in Oregon cover abortions at no out-of-pocket cost. It also allowed unauthorized immigrants without health insurance to have their abortions paid for by the state, which Oregon estimated will cost roughly $300,000 annually.

This proposed constitutional amendment was initiated by Oregon voters, who submitted about 140,000 signatures -- more than the required 117,578 valid signatures prior to July 6, 2018 needed for it to qualify for the ballot.

— Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: iStock.com / Kameleon007)

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