SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Abortion legislation is back at the Oregon Capitol this session, but its prospects vary from uncertain to doubtful in a body with a history of not acting on the issue.
The Oregonian reports that anti-abortion groups didn't push bills in recent years when Democrats were in control. This year, with an even split of Republicans and Democrats in the House, they've resumed.
A House measure to make abortions illegal after 20 weeks of pregnancy, except in medical emergencies, will get a committee hearing March 23. But Republican Rep. Andy Olson of Albany, one of 25 co-sponsors, told the paper, "I don't see the bill moving out of committee."
A leader of Oregon Right to Life, which now has former House Speaker Karen Minnis as a lobbyist, said it's too soon to say whether the Legislature will take action despite its history.
"The House has more pro-lifers in it than before, so we're optimistic enough to have a bill introduced and to see where it goes," said Executive Director Gayle Atteberry.
In the Senate, Right to Life is supporting a bill that calls for more state regulation of clinics that provide abortions. Similar measures have been introduced before but have not advanced.
On the other side, Planned Parenthood is supporting legislation aimed at crisis pregnancy centers often operated by anti-abortion groups. No hearing has been scheduled.
It would require them to post notice on the front door and in the waiting room informing women whether they provide abortions, contraception or prenatal care and whether a licensed medical provider is on staff.
"We're not trying to shut them down, we just want them to be more transparent about what they do or don't do," said Roey Thorpe, executive director of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon.
"If we can get our bill out of the House committee, there's no question that it will pass," she said. "We believe that the Oregon Legislature still reflects that Oregon is a strongly pro-choice state."
The bills are HB 3512, SB 901 and HB 3425.
Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.comTags: