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
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
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.