Monday, June 19, 2023

Parents Win In Leftist Oregon

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Oregon Senate Republicans successfully pushed state Democrats into eliminating a portion of a proposed bill that would have allowed minors to obtain abortions without parental consent.

Democrats threw out the radical provision of HB 2002 after Republican state senators launched “the longest walkout in state history” — a six-week peaceful protest that could put the political careers of at least ten GOP lawmakers at risk under a ballot measure passed by voters last year.

Be informed, not misled.

The Bill that Broke the Donkeys Back.

Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) reported that conservative Oregon Republican lawmakers put their careers on the line to stand for parents.

They successfully pushed state Democrats- the majority- into eliminating a portion of a proposed bill that would have allowed minors to obtain abortions without parental consent.

Republicans in the Oregon Senate ended their six-week walkout last Thursday after reaching a deal to water down Democratic bills on abortion and guns that the GOP has strenuously opposed.

Those changes — unthinkable if Republicans had not launched the longest walkout in state history — represent a win for the boycotting senators. And parents.

The stand was for all conservative parents in the state who believe parents, not the state, are responsible for rearing their children.

House Bill 2002 was the tipping point. When it passed the House, the Elephants remembered their core values and did what they had to do.

Senator Tim Knopp and Representative Vikki Breese wrote an op-ed for the Oregonian back in April in which they explained how powerfully this bill would, if passed, impact parental rights.

They began with this: "Field trip permission slips. Tattoos and piercings. Contact lenses. These are just some of the examples in which parents are required to provide consent for their children in the state of Oregon."

They continued: 

However, a bill in the Oregon Legislature would knowingly and forcefully strip away parental rights. House Bill 2002 B expands the use of taxpayer dollars for irreversible sex-changing treatments and procedures – including sterilization for those as young as 15 – without parental consent. Private insurers under this measure must cover these procedures, allowing minors to undergo treatment on their parents’ insurance without their knowledge. Yes, you are reading that correctly.

In addition, this legislation will allow a minor at any age to have an abortion without parental knowledge or consent. A doctor may not disclose this information to a child’s parent unless the child provides explicit written permission – stripping away a parent’s right to know.

Make no mistake, Oregon law already permits a minor at age 15 to have an abortion without parental consent up until the moment of birth. Our fear with removing the age limit for parental consent is that it leaves children on their own to deal with the consequences of what might have been a crime, or at the very least a significant event deserving of parental guidance. Lawmakers may very well be aiding and abetting pedophiles and sex traffickers who can pressure kids into telling doctors that a boyfriend got them pregnant to avoid criminal repercussions.

They concluded with this:

Don’t be fooled, this is not an abortion or equality issue – this is a parental rights issue. This is the state of Oregon effectively telling you that the government understands the needs of your child better than you do. This is an extreme attack on the sacred relationship between a parent and a child.

House Bill 2002 B is scheduled for a vote on the House floor on Monday, May 1. Please call your state representative and state senator and make your voice heard.

When it appeared that the Democrats would pass the bill, Republicans stood up and walked out.

They said it's time to take a stand regardless of the personal consequences.

Senate Republican Leader Tim Knopp (R-Bend) tweeted this: 

“Senate Republicans and Independents stood firm as the last line of defense for parental rights and the rule of law. I am incredibly proud of their steadfast determination to give their constituents a long over-due seat at the table,” Knopp said in a statement. 

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

The personal cost may be significant.

Remember when America's Founding Fathers declared their Independence from England? They laid it all on the line. 

They included in the Declaration of Independence that they knew there could be consequences for their actions---but they knew they were doing the right thing.

The last phrase of the Declaration of Independence says, "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor."

In order to achieve a victory for parental rights, the Oregon Republicans in the Senate had to put their careers on the line. They were forced to launch “the longest walkout in state history” — a six-week peaceful protest that could put the political careers of at least ten GOP lawmakers at risk under a ballot measure passed by voters last year.

On May 12, this became a national story when the New York Post said, "Republican state senators in Oregon are putting their careers in jeopardy in an attempt to stymie Democrat-led bills on gun control, gender-affirming care and abortion rights by refusing to come into work." 

"The statehouse boycott, which entered its ninth consecutive day on Friday,  said this "prevents the Democratic-controlled Senate from having the required two-thirds of lawmakers present to pass legislation. 

Here's the problem: 

Lawmakers with 10 unexcused absences are banned from re-election under a constitutional amendment passed last November.

The Post said, "Republicans who reach 10 absences and are thus disqualified from re-election are expected to file legal challenges."

"The Oregon secretary of state’s office has indicated that it will not put disqualified senators on the ballot for re-election."

The drama in Oregon is the latest in a string of ideological clashes in statehouses across the country.

Which brings me to this:

Is there anything important enough for which you would put your career, your reputation, and your bank account on the line? 

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Bold. Be Prayerful.