Now that Oregon’s election results are in, we can turn our attention to the 2023 Legislative Session. Although multiple races ended in disappointment, the good news is that pro-abortion legislators no longer hold a supermajority in the state House or Senate. As a result, no new tax increases can pass without approval from a three-fifths majority, which would require the votes of some pro-life legislators.
This summer, pro-abortion legislators created a “Reproductive Care & Access to Health Workgroup.” Unlike committees, which work publicly, workgroups meet behind closed doors. The most we can do is anticipate what legislation will come from the workgroup and respond appropriately.
Oregon Right to Life (ORTL) has also been working with pro-life lawmakers on legislation for the upcoming session. Here are some of the proposals we hope will be introduced:
• A bill protecting vulnerable patients near the end of their lives. It would require explicit permission in a patient’s advance directive for a healthcare representative to decide to withhold nutrition and hydration of a terminally ill patient. We believe this legislation is a good step toward protecting life until natural death.
• EMMA (Every Mom Matters Act) package. The EMMA package of bills has three elements designed to help families choose life:
– A comprehensive list of resources for pregnant and parenting women. The list would be available online, print and via interactive text.
– Physicians will be required to provide an opportunity for a mother to receive a free consultation about these resources before performing an abortion.
– Follow-up services for women after the birth of their children, including referrals to resources in their community and public assistance programs.
• A pain-capable infant protection bill that would limit abortions after a baby can feel pain in utero.
All of these bills have public support and could go a long way in protecting human life.
Justin Hageman, ORTL Public Affairs Specialist