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No Cuts to Care: Vote No on Ballot Measure 106

No Cuts to Care: Vote No on Ballot Measure 106

Today, Oregon’s Secretary of State announced that an anti-abortion group turned in enough valid signatures to qualify Initiative Petition 1 for the November ballot, by a narrow margin. Measure 106, as it will appear on the ballot, is an attempt to cut access to abortion for low-income Oregonians and public employees.

“This ballot measure asks voters to allow the state to set a dangerous precedent by cherry-picking which medical procedures will and won’t be covered by insurance,” says Kalpana Krishnamurthy, National Field and Policy Director at Forward Together, one of several organizations working to defeat Measure 106 as part of the No Cuts to Care campaign that was launched on July 6, when proponents turned in signatures. “Oregonians have already voted down similar measures twice, and we expect them to do the same in November; it just isn’t aligned with our values.”

Oregon Life United, the group behind the initiative, has been working since 2012 to put a measure on the ballot that would cut access to care for low-income families and public service workers. Measure 106, referred to by proponents as “Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act of 2018,” would amend the Oregon Constitution to prohibit spending public funds on abortion. The certified ballot title for Measure 106 reads, “Amends Constitution: Prohibits spending ‘public funds’ (defined) directly/indirectly for ‘abortion’ (defined); exceptions; reduces abortion access.”

“Measure 106 chips away at healthcare benefits and if passed, would cut access for reproductive health care for hundreds of thousands of Oregonians,” says Grayson Dempsey, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon. “The right to health care is the foundation of freedom and opportunity for women and their families. No one should be denied care because of how much they make or how they are insured.”

An estimated 271,833 women of reproductive age receive health care through the Oregon Health Plan. Under Measure 106, these Oregonians will no longer have access to the full range of reproductive health care they need. CBS News reported in 2017 that most Americans cannot afford an unexpected $500 expense without going into debt. This is approximately the cost of an early-stage abortion.

Additional studies show that a woman who is denied an abortion is more likely to fall into poverty than one who is able to get the care she needs.

“This initiative also interferes with the health care that public employees count on,” says Emily McLain, Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. “Measure 106 would have a disproportionate effect on teachers, nurses, firefighters and thousands of other public service members who would no longer be eligible for abortion coverage as part of their public employee benefits plan.”

According to the Department of Human Services and Oregon Health Authority, a total of 77,344 women of reproductive age are insured through the Public Employees’ Benefit Board and Oregon Educators Benefits Board as of June 2018. Measure 106 would cut their access to care.

The No Cuts to Care coalition includes a long and growing list of supporters and advocates, including an executive committee led by ACLU of Oregon, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, Forward Together, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon. Additional coalition partners include AAUW of Oregon, All Above All, Catholics for Choice, Fair Shot Oregon, Family Forward Oregon, Northwest Abortion Access Fund, Oregon AFL-CIO, Oregon Center for Public Policy, Oregon Health Equity Alliance, Oregon NOW, Oregon Nurses Association, Oregon Women’s Equity Coalition, SEIU 503, Unite Oregon and Western States Center.

Learn more about the campaign by visiting NoCutsToCare.com.

Posted on July 27, 2018 in News.
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