On the way to the Oregon elections office in Salem, Suzanne Belatti of St. Rose of Lima Parish carries the last box of petitions for a measure to ban abortions.Backers of Measure 106, lacking big funds, have opted for social media and a booth at the Oregon State Fair. The campaign is handing out free yard signs and stickers. Pick-up sites for the signs are being set up around the state. (Courtesy Oregon Life United)
On the way to the Oregon elections office in Salem, Suzanne Belatti of St. Rose of Lima Parish carries the last box of petitions for a measure to ban abortions.Backers of Measure 106, lacking big funds, have opted for social media and a booth at the Oregon State Fair. The campaign is handing out free yard signs and stickers. Pick-up sites for the signs are being set up around the state. (Courtesy Oregon Life United)

“If abortion is a personal choice, why should it be funded by our tax dollars?”

That’s the question headlining the Facebook page of Oregon’s new Yes on Measure 106 campaign. The measure, which will be on the November ballot, would ban public spending on abortion. Oregon is one of only 17 states that allows such expenditures and has the nation’s most permissive abortion laws.

“We don’t want our money used to support abortion,” said John White, a volunteer from St. John the Baptist Parish in Milwaukie who worked on getting the measure on the ballot three times before it succeeded.

“We need the Catholic people’s support on this,” White said.

After the last failure, White reported, chief petitioners seemed ready to give up what seemed like an impossible fight. But then a small unidentified Hispanic Catholic woman spoke up, saying no one should yield.

“It would be a great honor if Oregon people would vote this funding out,” said White.

Meanwhile, foes of Measure 106 have purchased expensive advertising to push their cause for continued public spending on abortion. A local ice cream shop has even begun selling a special flavor to support the public spending side.  

“Our opponents are shaping us up to be extremists who want to take away care from the poor and state employees,” said Suzanne Belatti, a chief petitioner and a member of St. Rose of Lima Parish in Portland. “This in spite of all their efforts to show how cost effective $500 abortion is compared to millions in lifelong welfare of those live births that go unfunded for termination.”

Belatti calls the campaign “our David and Goliath moment.”

Backers of Measure 106, lacking big funds, have opted for social media and a booth at the Oregon State Fair. The campaign is handing out free yard signs and stickers. Pick-up sites for the signs are being set up around the state.

The Measure 106 Facebook page is taking an educational and informational tack. In a top post, it explains that House Bill 3391, signed into law by Gov. Kate Brown in 2017, significantly increased taxpayer funding for abortion. The post also says that the Oregon Health Authority reports $1.9 million in taxpayer money was spent on more than 3,500 abortions covered under the Oregon Health Plan last year.

“That’s about 10 taxpayer-funded abortions every day,” the post says.