PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - One of the most controversial ballot measures in November’s election is Oregon’s Measure 106. If passed, it would ban the state from using taxpayer dollars to fund abortions.
They may have very different viewpoints, but for both supporters and opponents of Measure 106 those viewpoints are strong.
“This is the first time it’s ever been on the ballot,” said Nichole Bentz, spokeswoman for the Campaign ‘Yes on Measure 106’. “The petition has been running for a number of years trying to get on the ballot, but this is the first time it’s made it on the ballot.”
If passed, Measure 106 would ban using public funds to pay for abortions.
In the last year, about 3,600 Oregon women had abortions covered by the Oregon Health Plan. That cost taxpayers about $2 million, according to the Oregon Health Authority. OHA said it doesn’t track how many of those abortions were medically necessary.
“Abortion is just a controversial topic, not just in Oregon but the entire United States,” said Bentz. “It’s very controversial to say that everyone has to pay for it, and so it’s giving Oregon voters the chance to say whether or not they want to.”
But Grayson Dempsey, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon, said Measure 106 is meant to deny healthcare to women.
“We know that a right isn’t a right if you can’t afford to access it,” Dempsey said.
She also calls the measure misleading and “a backdoor ban on abortion.”
“We believe this is a dangerous precedent looking to pave the way on more abortion restrictions in a state that has historically voted against any sorts of restrictions to safe abortion care,” she said.
Bentz, however, said in no way does the measure stop women from getting abortions.
“If someone still wants to seek an abortion, they still can,” Bentz said. “It just won’t be covered by Oregon tax dollars anymore.”
Oregonians can vote on this measure and others Nov. 6.
Click here to see an online version of the Oregon Voters’ Guide.
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