No-Citizens-Allowed Legislative Session Kicks Off

Oregon State Capitol Building

On Monday, January 11, the Oregon Legislature began a full-length legislative session. It is expected to be entirely virtual, with no citizens permitted inside the Capitol building to lobby their elected public servants.

While this obstacle does give the Democratic supermajority an additional advantage, it does not fully handicap the pro-life movement in Oregon. There is so much that can and must be done.

For decades, Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) has been a respected and consistent presence in the Capitol. 2021 will be no different. To help with advocacy effectiveness, we have expanded our team. ORTL now retains a pro-life lawyer with solid experience in the Capitol. He is already evaluating new legislation to provide his expert opinion.

Additionally, ORTL has introduced three pro-life pieces of legislation this session. Here are brief descriptions of each: 

• The Born-Alive Infants Protection bill requires abortion providers to deliver life-saving care for a baby born alive during an abortion.

• The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection bill prohibits abortion providers from performing abortions after 18 weeks, except under very limited circumstances.

• The Advance Directive Principal Protection bill restrains the healthcare representative’s broad decision-making power.

Senators Lynn Findley, Bill Hansell, Dallas Heard, Tim Knopp, Dennis Linthicum and Kim Thatcher sponsored our legislation in the Senate. Representatives Shelly Boshart Davis, Vikki Breese Iverson, Jami Cate, Gary Leif, Bobby Levy, Raquel Moore-Green, Mike Nearman, Mark Owens, Bill Post, E. Werner Reschke, Greg Smith, David Brock Smith and Jack Zika sponsored our legislation in the House.

Joining these elected pro-life advocates are five freshmen legislators, four of whom are women. Jami Cate from Lebanon is a fifth-generation grass seed farmer representing parts of Linn and Marion Counties. Lily Morgan of Grants Pass is a former city councilor and Josephine County Commissioner. She worked to pass the resolution making January 24, 2021 a “Sanctity of Human Life & Respect for Life Day” in Josephine County. Bobby Levy of Echo manages her family’s hay farm and owns a business raising guardian dogs to protect livestock from predators. Suzanne Weber from Tillamook has been a third-grade teacher who now runs two small businesses. Weber was also the mayor of Tillamook until her winning election.

Rounding out the freshman legislators is Boomer Wright from Coos Bay. Wright has been a teacher, principal and superintendent dedicated to helping students succeed. He also spent five years as general manager of Sea Lion caves in Florence.On February 25, we will hold a virtual lobbying day to support our pro-life legislation (see graphic). Please ensure you are signed up for alerts by subscribing to emails at ortl.org and texting “ORTL” to 52886. We need your active help this legislative session.

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