After the unprecedented leak of an entire Supreme Court opinion in May last year, Oregon House Speaker Dan Rayfield announced the Reproductive Health and Access to Care Work Group. Composed almost entirely of extreme pro-abortion activists, this work group “aimed to protect, strengthen and expand” abortion access. In December, they published a report containing a number of policy ideas that would do just that.
Some of the most concerning recommendations from the abortion work group are targeted at pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) and sidewalk counselors. First, they suggested that PRCs should be penalized for providing “misleading and biased” information. They also want to initiate a state-sponsored propaganda campaign to “educate the public about the nature” of PRCs.
The work group also expressed a desire to restrain sidewalk counselors even further. Although they pay superficial lip service to free speech rights, it’s clear they intend to hamper the pro-life movement’s ability to support abortion-minded women. They characterize sidewalk counseling as “harassment” and suggest that both criminal and civil penalties should be pursued. Despite their hedging, the work group will push to violate free speech rights to stop anyone from challenging the claims of abortion activists and providers.
The work group is also pursuing radical expansions of abortion in Oregon. Many of their efforts are targeted toward increasing abortions in rural areas of the Beaver State. They suggested using state money to fund “mobile clinics’’ that could provide abortions virtually anywhere. Furthermore, they’re also looking to dispense chemical abortion drugs through college and university clinics. This recommendation fits right in with the ongoing strategy of increasing abortion access through schools.