Pro-Life Legislation for the 2020 Session

Sharolyn Smith

Photo by on Unsplash
Jessica Stanton
Public Affairs Specialist

Abortion is legal for all nine months in Oregon, a tragic reality for the past 47 years under Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. It may be the current legal reality but it has been and will always be reprehensible.

As you read this, the 2020 Oregon legislative session is underway. Oregon Right to Life has introduced two very important bills that would address that reality by placing limits on when an abortion could be performed. The Born-Alive Infants Protection bill and the 20-Week Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection bill are sponsored by a number of pro-life champions in both the House and the Senate. They need you to take action for both bills in very short order. Please read the Action Alert for a timeline of the 2020 session. 

SB 1523 – Born-Alive Infants Protection Bill

Oregon has no legal protections for infants who are born alive during an abortion procedure. The 2002 Federal Born-Alive Infants Protection Act only defines infants who survive abortion as persons but it does not guarantee them any legal rights or protections. The Centers for Disease Control reports that, from 2003 to 2014, there were an estimated 143 infants born alive nationwide during attempted abortion procedures. None of them are known to have survived. 

The bill would require abortion providers to deliver care that could save the life of a baby who is born alive during an abortion. Health care practitioners would also be required to ensure the baby is transported to a hospital. The bill allows any person who obtained an abortion, or attempted to obtain an abortion, the right to file a civil action against a health care practitioner or employee who violates the bill. 

HB 4048 – 20-Week Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Bill

Oregon also has no legal protections for an unborn baby after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Over the last eight years, there has been substantial evidence that babies are capable of feeling pain by at least 20 weeks gestation. The bill would prohibit abortion providers from performing abortions after 20 weeks, post-fertilization, except under very limited circumstances. It also requires proper examination of the unborn child’s age and specific reporting of when abortions are performed. The abortion providers’ reports are to be reviewed by Oregon Health Authority. This bill lists reasons OHA may refuse to grant, revoke, or suspend a license to practice.


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