Oregon’s Abortion Legalization History
By Oliva Herrera
The history of abortion being legalized in Oregon begins in 1969 during the time Robert William
“Bob” Packwood (R) was a Republican US Senator. Packwood, a known pro-abortion politician,
was the first person to introduce a pro-abortion bill to Congress (in 1970) to legalize abortion at
a national level. He was a recipient of Planned Parenthood’s “Margaret Sanger Award” for his
pro-abortion efforts. His career ended after his resignation in 1995 that rooted from allegations
of sexual misconduct and was succeeded by our current Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat.
During Packwood’s time as a US Senator, Senate Bill 193 was introduced in our state. This bill
would eventually make local history as the first bill to legalize abortion in Oregon.
In 1969, SB193 allowed a licensed physician to perform an abortion during the first 150 days of
pregnancy on an Oregon resident in the following circumstances:
The baby had a physical or mental handicap
The baby was conceived by rape or other criminal intercourse
The pregnancy poses a substantial risk to the mother’s physical or mental health
SB193 also required all abortions to be performed by a physician in a hospital. Before any
abortion took place, two physicians had to certify in writing that the woman’s circumstances
SB193 passed in Oregon on Thursday, May 22 nd , 1969. A few weeks later, on Monday June 16 th ,
1969, Republican Governor Tom McCall signed SB193 into law. This is the date that abortion
first became legal in Oregon, noticeably prior to Roe v. Wade.
On January 22 nd , 1973 Roe v. Wade was decided. The combined decisions of Roe V. Wade and
Doe v. Bolton made by the Supreme Court, allowed women to “choose” to abort their babies.
In 1983, Oregon’s leadership repealed the 1969 law with SB397 removing all restrictions on
abortion. The bill was passed in order to protect unrestricted abortions in Oregon if Roe/Doe
In 2017, The Reproductive Health Equity Act of 2017 (HB 3391) forced/forces insurance
companies operating in Oregon to fully cover abortion procedures with no co-pay or deductible.
The law also expanded tax-payer funding of abortion, effectually making abortion “free” in
On Friday June 24th, 2022 – The United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade that had
made abortion a federal “right” in our country. However, this decision had no effect on abortion
access in Oregon.
Also in 2022, Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives Dan Rayfield, a Democrat formed
a group of abortion providers, community organizations, and legislators (the “Reproductive
Health Access-to-care Work Group”) to make policy, budget, and administrative
recommendations to protect and expand abortion services in Oregon.
Oregon House Democrats as well, established the “Reproductive Health Equity Fund”, a $15
Million dollar investment to expand their abortion-provider network capacity and address
“urgent” patient needs for abortion funds and “practical” support , like travel and lodging.
This year, House Democrats passed HB2002 requiring Medicaid and private insurers to cover
even more procedures to include additional abortion and transgender support services.
Today in Oregon
There are still no restrictions on abortion.
A woman can abort her baby at any stage of pregnancy.
Abortion services are available to illegal immigrants and non US Citizens.
Abortions are available to out-of-state residents.
Travel costs (including lodging) are covered to those seeking abortions.
Abortion is “free” for clients.
Abortion is funded by Oregon Tax-Payers without limitations!
Oliva Herrera is a Josephine County resident and a Republican Precinct Committee Person.