Growing up, many of us were taught, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” As a young adult, I personalized this philosophy with an internal conviction that I wanted to be a positive person rather than negative and grumbly; I have tried to live up to this ideal.
Times have changed since my upbringing. A clear example recently witnessed is the intimidation, hate-filled, violent, tactics of extremists on the political front.
Against this current backdrop, I’d like to engage a civil, respectful conversation about an issue that often sends people from both ends of the political spectrum from 0 to 60 in around three seconds. A conversation centered on facts rather than emotion, a conversation about the issue of abortion in Oregon.
In the current election season, lots of yard signs are out including a bright blue one saying “YES on 106.” I’m part of a group, Oregon Life United, that worked to get this measure on the ballot.
We are truly a grassroots organization with no special interest support or money; instead more than 10,000 committed volunteers across the state gathered more 150,000 signatures necessary to qualify for the ballot.
Oregon is the only state in the country that has zero laws limiting abortion. This includes aborting a baby up to hours before birth for any reason.
Oregon taxpayers paid $24.4 million for more than 57,000 abortions, approximately 10 abortions each day, 2002-2017, the earliest date data is available.
Oregon HB 3391, signed into law August 2017, greatly expanded taxpayer funding of abortion. (Not insignificant is the fact this bill was rushed through the legislature in the final days before adjournment, without any committee hearings or public testimony, then declared to be an emergency thereby preventing it from ever being referred to the public for a vote.)
The result of this new law is today, anyone –– living in Oregon or just here for short time, uninsured or covered by OHP –– can have an unlimited number of free (taxpayer funded) abortions at any time during pregnancy.
A “yes” vote on Measure 106 will not in any way affect anyone’s right to choose abortion.
Passing Measure 106, however, is necessary to stop taxpayer funding of elective, including late-term, abortions when the baby is perfectly healthy.
What is not true –– Measure 106 is not about limiting or “cherry picking” healthcare. While grassroots are behind this measure, the powerful well-funded special interest groups, Planned Parenthood and NARAL, will most likely be spending millions in an effort to distort and confuse facts, working to convince voters to oppose. This is truly a David vs Goliath scenario.
Oregon taxpayers should not be forced to pay for other people’s choices. Please join me in voting “yes” on Measure 106.
Annette Lathrop is Oregon Life United Wallowa County Coordinator and formerly authored the Chieftain column “Just Thinking.”