This summer volunteers are gathering signatures and getting involved to stop taxpayer-funded abortions in Oregon. Faith communities are leading the charge, with over 400 churches of all sizes across Oregon holding petition drives. From Medford to Portland, Brookings to Baker City, passionate volunteers are working hard to meet the goal of 117,000+ signatures needed to qualify the measure for the November, 2018 ballot.
Corvallis-based Oregon Life United is heading up the drive. Initiative Petition 1 — known as the ‘Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ — would prohibit state funds from being used for abortions, except when medically necessary or if required by federal law.
Initiative Will Reverse Abortions Mandated by HB 3391
Oregon House Bill 3391, otherwise known as the Reproductive Health Equity Act, is about to become law in Oregon. The bill forces insurance companies who sell plans in Oregon to provide for abortions, with no ability for them to opt-out for religious reasons. This means that even churches would be forced to buy insurance plans from companies that pay for abortions.
In short, it’s one of the most aggressive pro-abortion laws ever passed in the history of our country, offering free abortion including sex-selective and late-term abortions. Churches can and should respond. Churches can help mitigate the damage done by HB 3391, by supporting the ‘Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’. This grassroots citizen’s initiative will block the stream of taxpayer dollars currently funding approximately 3,700 abortions annually through the OHP and reverse the expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion mandated by HB 3391.
What Motivates ‘Stop the Funding’ Volunteers?
Hundreds of volunteers are organizing petition drives at their churches, but teams are also going out to concerts, parades, festivals, and county fairs. What motivates these volunteers to go to their church members and communities seeking signatures? Courage — a courage that comes from deciding that something is important enough to stand for. The ‘something’ with this petition is protecting the vulnerable, the youngest human lives in our state. Some have had personal experience with abortion, for others it is supporting God’s clear position on abortion that fuels their passion to help.
Although protecting the young and the vulnerable is reason enough for the initiative to be on the 2018 November ballot, there are financial implications that have non-churchgoers supporting it as well. Data provided by the Oregon Health Authority reveals that $2.42 million in state money was spent on abortions during fiscal year 2015-16, by far the highest of any year covered in the 14-year report. The money was paid to Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers for 3,769 abortions covered under the Oregon Health Plan.
“Nationally, upwards of 70% of Americans don’t want their tax dollars being used for the destruction of innocent human life,” says Jeff Jimerson, director of Oregon Life United. “We are inviting Oregon’s pro-life community, specifically people of faith and action, to join in this movement to protect women and babies from abortion.”
More Churches Needed
Churches by far, have the greatest role to play in helping the ‘Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’ qualify for Oregon’s statewide ballot. More churches are needed to reach the goal of 117,000 Oregon registered voter signatures. Those who are not involved already are urged to collect signatures at church and in their local communities.
Oregon Life United has an abundance of resources to help churches get started and have a successful petition drive (go to the ‘Church Resources Page’ link below for access to petitions, Amendment text, brochures, and other resources).
Church Resources Page: https://www.stopthefunding.