Office of Civil Rights Open to Pro-Life Complaints

Sharolyn Smith

In January, after three years of legal research and quiet action, Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) filed a suit challenging Oregon’s so-called Reproductive Health Equity Act with the Health and Human Services Office of Civil Rights.

A 2017 law (HB3391) created the Reproductive Health Equity Act. This law paved the way for abortions at no cost for everyone living in Oregon. Although Oregon already used state funds to pay for many abortions, the leaders in Salem were determined to fully fund it for all.

After the suit was filed, ORTL heard nothing until May when we contacted the legal team for follow-up information. A phone meeting was held and additional information was provided. As of print deadlines, there has been no further action.

At this time, the Office of Civil Rights communicated that they were interested in hearing from pro-life Oregonians who are impacted by the law. You may be someone who can also file a complaint. You do not need a lawyer to do so. The process is quite simple. If you are interested in helping, first read this description from our legal team:

If you qualify as a “religious employer” in Oregon, you are already exempted from the abortion coverage requirement. According to Oregon code, a “religious employer” is an employer: (a) whose purpose is the inculcation of religious values; (b) that primarily employs persons who share the religious tenets of the employer; (c) that primarily serves persons who share the religious tenets of the employer; and (d) that is a nonprofit organization under section 6033(a)(3)(A)(i) or (iii) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Those welcomed to file a complaint can be (A) organizations or businesses that currently provide a health insurance plan but don’t want to keep coverage for abortion or (B) organizations or businesses that would like to provide coverage for their employees but will not do so as long as they are forced to include abortion coverage.There is no deadline for filing a claim. For more information you can contact the ORTL office at 503-463-8563 or


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