The crazier conservative-leaning states become, the happier I am to be an Oregonian.
My state isn't perfect, that's for sure, but by and large it hits the right balance when it comes to personal freedom and social responsibility.
Case in point: Oregon is the only state that hasn't limited a woman's access to abortion services. Repeat, only state.
This chart makes my green, moist, fern-infested heart beat with pride (I live in western Oregon; eastern Oregon has a different climate).
There Oregon is, way down at the bottom, showing zero on the type of abortion restrictions. Take that, Washington state -- which has one type of restriction. You've gotten legal gay marriage and marijuana before us, but at least we win on this personal freedom front.
Let's not rest content, though.
I was pleased to read today that the Oregon legislature is considering SB 490, which would require so-called "crisis pregnancy centers" (they provide no health services and promulgate false information about abortion) to be up-front about what their so-called "services" are, and to keep personal medical information private.
Among those testifying in support of Senate Bill 490 was Dr. Jim Lace, a Salem pediatrician and legislative chairman of the Oregon Medical Association. He said crisis pregnancy centers often provide only over-the-counter pregnancy tests and ultrasound tests, and generally are not staffed by medical professionals.
He said such centers often advise women that abortion causes breast cancer and future infertility, or that condoms do not prevent pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases.
“These claims are not supported by peer-reviewed medical research and lack any disclaimer or notification to this effect, thus limiting the woman’s choice and jeopardizing her health and safety,” Lace said to the Senate Health Care and Human Services Committee.
He also said that unlike medical professionals, such centers are not bound by federal requirements for confidentiality of personal medical information.
SB 490 is an excellent idea. I hope it passes. It's long past time to give those who want to meddle in women's health care decisions a taste of their own medicine.
These "crisis pregnancy centers" want to tell pregnant women what to do. So let's make sure that they honestly tell these women what they really are offering.
SB 490 requires that notices be prominently posted which describe whether the center provides each of the following:
(a) Contraceptive drugs or devices that are approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration;
(b) An on-site consultation with a [medical] practitioner listed in subsection (2)(b)(A) of this section;
(c) Adoption services or referral for adoption services; and
(d) Abortion services or referral for abortion services.
These notices would make clear to anyone who walks in that this really isn't a "crisis pregnancy center." It is a biased, limited, judgmental, moralistic anti-abortion center whose core, if not sole, purpose is to talk women into having a baby -- regardless of whether this is what the woman wants, or is in her best interest.
These anti-choice fanatics don't provide a wide range of pregnancy services. Yet women can easily be fooled into believing that they do. SB 490 would make it much more difficult to pass off an anti-abortion center as a "crisis pregnancy center."
Let's restrict the ability of those who want to restrict the ability of Oregon women to freely choose what to do when they become pregnant. Pass SB 490.