In 2010, voters passed a ballot measure authorizing a “short session” of 35 days between the regular lengthy sessions which occur every two years. The only purpose of the short session was to modify or change budget needs of the state, with no policy bills being acted upon except in an emergency. Unfortunately, this has not been the case.
Sometimes, change happens dramatically overnight. Sometimes, it happens slowly and without anyone really noticing.
Anti-life legislators have tried the dramatic approach before in the Oregon Legislature. A 2015 bill (Senate Bill 894) brazenly demanded that even churches purchase insurance coverage that pays for abortions for their employees. It was so radical we were able to stop the bill despite overwhelming pro-abortion majorities.
But often, bad legislation is much more subtle and, therefore, more dangerous. This year’s Senate Bill 1552 is an example. It would have changed the important advance directive document and created a new mechanism for further changes.
On its surface, SB 1552 was attractive; it made positive updates to the advance directive itself.
But, the good part of the legislation cloaked something much more sinister: the bill would have created a new, un-elected committee with the authority to change the advance directive without the legislature’s approval. Pro-assisted suicide Governor Kate Brown would have been handed the authority to stack the committee with pro-death members.
As we explain on our website, www.ortl.org/advanced-
The good news? Thanks to the work of many pro-lifers who called their state senators and, due to the amazing dedication and skill of our lobbyist, we were able to defeat SB 1552! We also thank the Senate Republicans who united in opposition to this dangerous bill.
We will remain vigilant as there is little doubt we will see legislation like this again in the future, whether it’s obvious or subtle. But, for now, you can rest assured that there is still a way to keep your end of life decisions out of the hands of people you don’t trust.