Taxpayers shouldn’t be forced to pay for abortions

This past week on Aug. 15, Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law HB 3391, The Reproductive Health Equity Act. This law requires private health insurers to offer free abortions without deductible or copay — abortions with no restrictions from conception until birth.

Oregon is the only state in the United States with no abortion restrictions. Abortions can be done at Oregon taxpayers’ expense any time before birth, for any reason, for citizen or non-citizen. Yes, we Oregonians are now forced to pay the entire cost of all abortions in the state. Oregon taxpayers already pay for an average of 10 abortions per day through the Oregon Health Plan (OHP) at a typical cost of about $450 each. HB 3391 gives $10.2 million to expand the Oregon Health Authority in order to provide “services, drugs, devices, products and procedures” for undocumented residents, $500,000 of which would specifically be used for abortions.

Of course, the biggest losers in this scenario are the human beings living in their mothers’ wombs. They have no say in the matter of their lives being eliminated through the brutal act of abortion.

It is essential that those of us who hold human life to be sacred and/or are concerned about fiscal responsibility to speak out and act on this matter. A citizens’ initiative, Stop Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, is in place to block the stream of taxpayer dollars now funding abortions through OHP. This initiative will also reverse the expansion of taxpayer-funded abortion mandated by HB 3391.

Time is short. A total of 117,000 valid signatures are needed by Sept. 30 to qualify this measure for the next statewide ballot. Petitions are available from Oregon Life United ( We urge all Oregon citizens who want fiscal responsibility and/or want to protect human life to obtain and sign a petition — or better yet obtain and circulate petitions to assure that this initiative is successful.

John and Susie Busch

Baker City

Encouraged that power line is not a done deal

I attended the meeting held by Baker County Commissioners last week. I appreciated the way our county commissioners are standing up for the citizens regarding the proposed Boardman to Hemingway transmission line.

They have made it clear that they do not support the building of the transmission line and have passed a resolution stating that if Idaho Power uses the power of eminent domain to force landowners to allow the line, the county will sign on as “Friends of the Court” in support of landowners who take legal action against Idaho Power. They have also stated that they will help any landowner who wants them to help with negotiating with Idaho Power to get fair payment if the line goes through their land.

It was encouraging to find that the transmission line is not a “done deal” and there are people working to stop the line from being built. I was surprised to hear that Bonneville Power has not agreed to pay part of the costs of building the line. They only committed to contribute to the assessment.

I am concerned to hear that Idaho Power is already trying to get landowners to agree to payments for the line going through their land. There are laws regarding the amount that owners of farm and forest lands should be paid that make it wise for people to either hire an attorney or work with the county if a decision is made to allow the transmission line to be built. There are attorneys who are specializing in helping people get reasonable compensation.

Please be aware that if you do not comment once the Oregon Department of Energy publishes their “Draft Proposed Order” you will give up your rights to fight against the line. I encourage citizens to become informed and involved in fighting the Boardman to Hemingway transmission line. Our citizens, wildlife, and resources will be negatively impacted if this for-profit company is allowed to build this transmission line at our expense.

JoAnn Marlette

Baker City

Eclipse watcher enjoyed Baker City hospitality

We spent time in Baker City this weekend preparing for the eclipse. We stayed at the Bridge Street Inn and enjoyed walking along the Powder River, taking in the fair in the park, eating out and in general, being charmed by the city.

This was our first time in Baker City and we really enjoyed the city, appreciated how friendly people were and ready for a lot of guests to descend.

Thanks again!

Nancy Janzen

Spokane, Washington

Class of ‘48 member: Always proud to be a Baker Bulldog

I was born in Baker at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in 1930. Dad was a fireman, a hunter and fisherman and he managed Baker’s adult baseball team. I attended Tiedemann Elementary School until the family was disrupted by the war. My mother was a pillar of the Mormon Church. I still remember great swimming experiences at the “Nat” (natatorium). Al Durgan was a cherished classmate. I’ve always been very proud to be a Baker Bulldog!

I bet there will be a great crowd in celebration of the eclipse. I wish I could be there! Best to all.

Donn L. Black

Baker High School Class of 1948

St. Helena, California