Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Oregon GOP Walkout Forces Dems to Compromise on Underage Abortion Law

'We knew the risk we were taking, but we feel our challenge to Measure 113’s constitutionality is strong...'

(Molly Bruns, Headline USA) Republicans in Oregon’s state senate succeeded in eliminating part of a proposed bill that would have permitted minors to get abortions without parental permission.

According to Breitbart, the GOP had a portion of HB 2002 removed after the state senators performed the “longest walkout in state history,” consisting of six weeks of peaceful protesting.

The walkout ended on Thursday after the GOP senators agreed to compromise on several other issues.

The legislature passed a budget expanding school funding, money for mental health services and financial support for public defenders.

“We have said from the very beginning that we cannot allow the Senate to operate in an unlawful, uncompromising, and unconstitutional manner,” said Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp, a Republican.

“We repeatedly urged Democrat leaders to put the critical needs of all Oregonians first instead of prioritizing an extreme agenda that does nothing but divide us,” he continued. “I am pleased to say that we were able to hold the Democrat Majority accountable and accomplish all these things. We achieved constitutional, lawful bipartisanship. And parental rights were restored.”

Democrat Senate President Rob Wagner did not excuse Republicans’ absences from the walkout.

The walkout was not without its political cost to the Republican lawmakers, who represent a vast swath of the state’s rural, eastern region but are nonetheless outnumbered by coastal leftists from Portland and other urban regions.

A ballot measure voted in last year put at least 10 state-level GOP legislators at risk of losing their positions.

“Though Democrats hold a slim majority, it is critically important that the voices of all Oregonians are heard in this process,” state Sen. Lynn Findley, a Republican, said in a statement.

“We knew the risk we were taking, but we feel our challenge to Measure 113’s constitutionality is strong,” Findley added. “Some of our colleagues may disagree, but that is a battle for another day. Today, we are happy to deliver this win for Oregonians.”

The new law required parental consent for minors under 15 years old seeking abortions. Democrats also removed portions of the bill that would have sought the expansion of abortion in rural areas of the state and around university campuses.

Portions of the bill funding hormone therapy and providing protection to patients who sought abortions in other states remained.

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