A state with a long history of supporting abortion rights, Oregon will have a constitutional amendment to limit state funding for abortions on the ballot this November. After narrowly gaining enough signatures to head to the ballot in late July, Measure 106 has inspired intense activism on both sides of the issue.
Oregon is one of seventeen states that uses its own funds to provide abortions; the federal government prohibits the use of Medicaid funding. If Measure 106 passes, the state would only be able to fund abortion in cases necessary for the safety of the mother — as in ectopic pregnancies — or in situations of incest or rape. Although the Oregon Health Plan paid $2 million for abortions for 3,600 women in the last year, the official cost analysis of Measure 106 states that passage of the initiative could cost the state an additional $10 million each year.
An estimated 271,833 women of reproductive age are covered by the Oregon Health Plan, and an additional 77,344 women of reproductive age are covered by the Public Employees’ Benefit Board and Oregon Education Benefits Board; passage of Measure 106 would cut their access to care.