The Senate Committee on Rules held a public hearing on Senate Joint Resolution 33, which seeks to enshrine abortion rights in the Oregon State Constitution. If enacted, the resolution would likely reinforce the current laws in Oregon that allow abortion for any reason until birth.
Oregon Right to Life executive director Lois Anderson testified that, although offered as a solution for injustice, abortion has failed to achieve those aims.
“They told us that when they legalized abortion, our society would become a more just, more humane place for all of our citizens,” stated Anderson. “It is estimated that 60-90% of babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome die from abortion in the U.S., compared to 18% of all pregnancies ending in abortion. We have more people with mental illness suffering and dying on our streets. Abortion has not solved society’s problems.”
The protection of abortion in Senate Joint Resolution 33 has been framed as protection for equal rights. According to Anderson, however, it will further abridge the rights of the unborn human beings whose lives are ended by abortion.
“So this bill, SJR 33, which purports to enshrine equal rights under the law for all people in Oregon, will actually do the opposite,” continued Anderson. “If adopted by the people of Oregon as its advocates hope, it will codify the legal discrimination that exists against developing babies under the guise of women’s rights.”
Abortions already are legal for basically any reason without limits and taxpayer-funded in Oregon, and the situation is unlikely to change with the Democrats controlling the state legislature. However, a state constitutional amendment would make it more difficult for voters and lawmakers to pass protections for unborn babies in the future.
“We don’t want Oregon to ever pass any kind of legislation like we’re seeing in other parts of the country that could strip away our right to exist,” said Todd Addams, interim executive director at Basic Rights Oregon. “We don’t want that to be a possibility without a huge, huge fight.”
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Addams’ pro-abortion group is working with Planned Parenthood and the ACLU of Oregon under a new “Equal Rights for All” campaign to pass the pro-abortion amendment.
According to the Statesman Journal, state Senate President Rob Wagner, D-Lake Oswego, Sen. Elizabeth Steiner, D-NW Portland, and Sen. Lew Fredrick, D-Portland, also are lead sponsors.
Since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that there is no U.S. Constitutional right to abortion in June, the pro-abortion movement has been trying to create a “right” to abort unborn babies in state constitutions through ballot initiatives. Vermont, California and Michigan passed pro-abortion constitutional amendments in November, and pro-life leaders are warning of similar efforts in Ohio, Maryland, Missouri, Nevada and South Dakota.
Several states have pro-life constitutional amendments that voters passed in recent years, including Alabama, Louisiana, Tennessee and West Virginia.
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