Are elective and late-term abortions really funded by taxpayers?
Yes. According to the Oregon Health Authority, $24.4 million of taxpayer money has been spent on more than 57,000 abortions since 2002. That’s about ten taxpayer-funded abortions per day. (View source.)
The primary way abortions are publicly funded in the state of Oregon is through the Oregon Health Plan (OHP). Anyone covered by OHP can have an unlimited number of “free” abortions, for any reason and at any stage of pregnancy — even late-term abortions when the baby is perfectly healthy. There are no limits or restrictions.
Isn’t it already illegal to use tax dollars to fund abortions?
When answering this question it’s important to distinguish between federal tax dollars and state tax dollars. At the federal level, it’s true that federal tax dollars may not be used to fund elective abortions (with some exceptions). However, individual states are free to decide whether or not to spend their own money on abortions. The vast majority of states today have laws that specifically prohibit state tax dollars from being used for abortions. Oregon, unfortunately, has no such restrictions.
Does Measure 106 allow for any exceptions?
Yes. Measure 106 allows for funding abortions when required by federal law, and when needed to protect the mother. This is a crucial distinction – abortions that are medically necessary will still be covered by state-funded healthcare, while those that are simply an elective procedure will no longer be. (See the amendment text below.)
How is this related to HB 3391?
Oregon House Bill 3391 (HB 3391), signed into law in 2017, was a multi-million dollar bill that significantly increased taxpayer funding for abortion. The bill mandated free, taxpayer-funded abortions for undocumented residents as well as for all customers of Providence Health Plans.
Because state lawmakers declared HB 3391 to be an emergency, Oregon citizens were blocked from referring the entire law to the public for a vote. Now, with Measure 106, voters will be able to decide if the portion of the bill that relates to publicly-funded abortion should be reversed.
What exactly does the proposed amendment say?
When Measure 106 is approved by voters this November, the following will be added to the Oregon State Constitution:
“The state shall not spend public funds for any abortion, except when medically necessary or as may be required by federal law.”
» Click here to read the full text of the amendment (print-friendly PDF).
Are both pro-choice and pro-life voters supporting Measure 106?
Yes. This is because Measure 106 does not block anyone’s access to abortion. Oregonians would still be free to choose abortion for any reason they wish — just not paid for with public money. At the same time, Oregon taxpayers who are opposed to paying for other people’s non-medically necessary abortions would no longer be required to do so.
For these reasons, both pro-choice and pro-life voters are supporting Measure 106.