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Advocating at the Capitol

 

At our annual Roe v. Wade Memorial and March, we charged each and every one of you to be bold in contacting your legislators and to be courageous in continuing to speak the truth. Since then, you have not stopped taking action. You have been courageous and bold. Together we have made significant steps despite the balance of power against us. At the time of writing, the session is not quite over and more will happen, but this is what has been done so far.

Our primary fight has been against four euthanasia bills, two of which have made progress through the Legislature: House Bill 2217 and Senate Bill 579. Thousands of advocates have sent multiple emails and made phone calls to their legislators. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed. Two Senate Democrats voted against SB 579, nearly defeating the bill. Their votes proved that we can make a positive influence when we stand up to protect all Oregonians. Both these bills have passed out of their original chamber so there is the possibility of them moving forward. We continue to work to prevent this from happening.

We also successfully fixed Senate Bill 178 which would have given health care representatives broad authority. The original draft of the bill removed the requirement that a health care representative be appointed according to an ordered list of people most likely to know the incapable patient’s wishes. The night before the bill was voted on, we asked every senator to oppose the bill as it was written. The Senate voted the next day to send the bill back to committee, where an amendment adding back the removed language was unanimously adopted. The fixed bill then passed both the Senate and the House and is currently waiting to be signed by the governor.

The amount of communication from pro-life advocates since the beginning of session has been overwhelming. The following numbers are conservative estimates of the work pro-life advocates have done:

• Over 10,000 emails were sent

• Over 1,000 phone calls were made

• 37 medical professionals signed letters in opposition to the euthanasia bills

• 5 medical experts testified in public hearings against both bills

• 4 public officials made statements at a press conference

• 6 state representatives made floor speeches opposing HB 2217

• 5 national groups have supported our efforts

None of this would be possible without pro-life Oregonians around the state coming together to protect life using their various abilities.

We also had an extremely successful lobby day at the Oregon Legislature on May 28. This was part of our effort to bring attention to the fact that Oregon has no legal protections for babies born after failed abortions. Thanks to the collaborative work between us, Oregon Family Council, and Students for Life of America, over 100 advocates showed up to ask legislators to support the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act. This legislation has been proposed in both the House and Senate, but neither bill has been given a hearing. We have been working with our pro-life legislators to bring these bills to their chamber floors for votes.

The combined efforts during this session to speak up and show up have proved just how dedicated you are to protecting life. We could not have done our work without your part. Until the session ends, we need you to keep being bold and courageous just like you have been! Please go to ortl.org/actionalerts to see what current actions are still needed in these last weeks of the session.

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