Pro-Choice Groups in Early Stages of Attempt to Enshrine Abortion in Oregon Constitution

Ashley Sadler

Communications Director

(Oregon Right to Life) — Pro-choice groups late last month joined forces in an effort to enshrine a “right” to abortion into the Oregon constitution. Abortion is currently legal in Oregon for any reason up to the moment of birth.

Basic Rights Oregon, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon announced the launch of a pro-abortion ballot initiative on June 24, 2024, the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson to overturn Roe v. Wade.

RELATED: Iowa, Kansas Supreme Courts Hand Down Opposite Abortion Rulings

The proposal would amend Section 46, Article I of Oregon’s constitution to explicitly prohibit “discrimination” on the basis of “pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes and related health decisions…”

The groups are currently collecting signatures in the hopes of getting their initiative on the ballot in 2026. They will need to gather more than 150,000 signatures by the summer of 2026 to achieve their goal.

The effort is very similar to a 2023 Senate Joint Resolution that also would have enshrined abortion into the state constitution. 

SJR 33, which was backed by the same groups now gathering signatures for the 2026 ballot initiative, was introduced in the Senate in April 2023 but never made it out of committee after Republican senators staged a historic walkout. 

Even without a constitutional amendment, elective abortion is currently legal in Oregon until the moment of birth in spite of the fact that most Americans believe there should be limits on later abortions.

In 2022, a DHM Research poll found that 58% of Oregonians surveyed believed that the unborn should be protected in the third trimester unless abortion was deemed necessary to save the life of the mother. 

Oregon Right to Life believes in the sanctity of all human life from the moment of conception to natural death. Abortion ends the life of a genetically distinct, growing human being. We oppose abortion at any point of gestation. In rare cases, a mother may have a life threatening condition in which medical procedures intended to treat the condition of the mother may result in the unintended death of her preborn baby. At the same time, ORTL recognizes that modern medical practice has and will continue to increase the ability to save both the life of the mother and the baby. Read this and all of our position statements here


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