Oregon Lawmakers Pass Bill Requiring Insurers to Cover 100% of Abortion Costs

Early this month, lawmakers in Oregon passed H.B. 3391 requiring insurers to pay all costs associated with on-demand abortions, regardless of how early- or late-term the woman’s pregnancy is at the time of the abortion. The measure was approved as the Oregon Senate, currently Democrat-controlled, voted directly along party lines with a 17-to-13 vote. This after the House approved the bill on July 1.

No surprise, a few religious-based exemptions exist–as dictated by the federal government–and apply narrowly to religious nonprofits. However, these religious nonprofits are only exempt if they send a detailed explanation to their employees, advising which services they will and won’t help cover. Additionally, employees unable to receive abortion procedures from their religious nonprofit employer will still be able to receive help from the government as the bill outlines provision through the Oregon Health Authority, designed “to provide statewide access to abortion coverage for Oregon residents enrolled in [such] health benefit plans.”

Regardless, it looks like women in Oregon who want an abortion will have little to no barriers to receive one.

What the bill means for Oregon

Specifically, as a result of this bill, Oregon insurance companies could be required to pay for abortions at no cost to patients regardless of their citizenship status, gender identification, or income bracket. Basically, Oregon will support “abortion without questions.”

Additionally, the bill requires the same insurers to contribute $10 million into a public fund to allow other and additional abortions–including abortions for women unable to get help from a religious employer. Opponents of the bill claim this is nothing more than a wink and a nod to Planned Parenthood. Supporters of the bill say the legislation has been in the works for several years and was only introduced this past March in response to congressional leaders’ attempts to repeal Obamacare. Current health care law requires minimum coverage for reproductive services (including birth control and abortion).

In certain states, abortions are already cost-free, but only if they are deemed as a medical necessity. This bill in Oregon is different in that women would have access to free abortion procedures for any reason at any time. Choosing abortion as a means of sex selection, for instance, or opting for a late-term abortion would be entirely acceptable. No longer will “medical necessity” play a role in the decision or outcome.

In the words of Democratic Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, who also happens to be a public health nurse, “Unintended pregnancies can perpetuate cycles of poverty, and we can help stop it. It is a woman’s right to choose when and if she is ready in her life to have a child.”

The Senator appears to share this opinion with the majority of her fellow Senators.

Oregon’s history with abortion

Those who have followed Oregon’s controversial abortion laws through the years know that the state already maintains some of the most progressive laws in the U.S. as it pertains to abortion. The state has previously allowed women to bypass traditional waiting periods, for instance, and the state has always been generous with its spending limits in regard to taxpayer funds.

Republican Senator Dennis Linthicum did not hold back in his response, saying, “We are both a sanctuary state for illegal aliens, and we are a sanctuary state for federally illegal, taxpayer subsidized abortion. We should not be showering politically well-connected abortion clinics with political gift cards under the guise of ‘equity,’ that is totally discreditable.”

The future of abortion in the U.S.

Understandably, Republicans–currently the minority in Oregon’s legislature–were angered by the bill’s passage. Oregon’s measure to require insurers to cover abortion costs comes at a time when the federal government–and specific states in the U.S.–are seeking additional restrictions for abortion services.

The battle isn’t pretty, and it won’t be ending any time soon.

Earlier this year, President Trump signed legislation to give states the right to withhold federal funding from Planned Parenthood and other providers of abortion. In May, Texas legislature moved to approve a widespread package of stricter abortion limits. If the President has anything to do with it, abortion on-demand as funded by taxpayers will be a thing of the past. For believers who cherish God’s commitment to children and believe in life at conception, this ruling can’t come fast enough.

How all of this plays out is yet to be seen, but one thing is certain: both proponents and opponents of abortion rights will be watching closely.

~ Christian Patriot Daily


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