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Reschke to front bill ending late-term abortion

  • During a Right to Life rally in Klamath Falls Monday, Rep. E. Werner Reschke (R-Klamath Falls) announced his intent to introduce a bill to the state legislature next month ending late-term abortions.

    House Bill 4057, to be introduced by Reschke when the short session begins Feb. 5, would ban abortions after the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. If passed, the bill would be the first limit on abortions in Oregon based on age of the fetus.

    Oregon is currently one of nine states in the U.S. that allows abortions up until birth. The rest have some type of time limit, most between 20 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.

    Reschke supported a similar bill last year, but the bill did not make it past the House Committee On Health Care.

    An ‘unborn scream’

    Reschke said Monday the 20-week limit was based on research showing a fetus has developed enough at that point to feel and react to pain.

    “Embryology tells us, after 20 weeks in a woman’s pregnancy, the baby growing inside her can feel pain,” he said. “So this horrific act of abortion becomes even more sinister after week 20. Even though we cannot hear the unborn scream, they scream as their life is ended.”

    Reschke also said it was not his intent to stand in judgment over those who perform or seek abortions, but to fight against what he described as “the unjustified ending of human life.”

    “I do not call the doctor evil, or the patient evil, unless they know what they are doing is wrong — and many do not,” he said. “So to call everyone evil is to use a broad brush and is unfair.”

    “But the act is certainly evil,” he continued. “There is no doubt about that.”

    A mother’s story

    Also addressing the crowd was keynote speaker Cindy Brunk, of Hood River, a pro-life activist and author. Brunk shared her experience of coming to Klamath Falls 38 years ago for an abortion after feeling pressured to do so and how this decision harmed her physically and emotionally.

    Brunk said 43 percent of American women have had one or more abortions, and said the procedure can harm mothers as well as fathers and siblings. She said these women are in need of healing and those who present a pro-life message harshly can derail what could be an opportunity for outreach.

    “The pro-life message, spoken with judgment and condemnation, is going to drive those ‘walking wounded’ deeper into denial rather than towards the healing programs,” she said.

    Monday was Brunk’s first time back in Klamath Falls since her abortion and, before the rally, she left a note to her unborn child outside the building where the procedure took place. With the note she left booties and a toy, and told her son about finding forgiveness for those who convinced her to have the abortion and for herself.

    “I can’t wait to see you again someday,” said Brunk, reading from the note.

    Not giving up

    Jeff Woodwick, chair of the local Right to Life chapter and emcee for the rally, closed the event with a word of encouragement for pro-life supporters, saying, “the truth is too powerful” for legal abortion to continue.

    “We’re making progress,” he said. “This won’t stay this way forever.”

    The rally featured opportunities to sign a petition to end public funding for abortion clinics. Also available were books about reaching out to young mothers and those working in the abortion industry.

    The rally was in Klamath Falls and elsewhere on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade. At the time, seven out of nine justices said abortion is protected by the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of the right to privacy.



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