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Oregon officials propose a permanent mask mandate

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With current COVID-19 regulations in Oregon set to expire on May 4, one proposal is pushing to reinstate mask mandates forever.

The mandate would be in place until it is “no longer necessary to address the effects of the pandemic in the workplace.”

Administrator of Oregon’s Department of Occupational Safety and Health, Michael Wood, brought the proposal to light. He argues it is necessary so mandates don’t expire.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” Woods said.

Many in the state are opposed to the idea, including Republican State Sen. Kim Thatcher.

“When will masks be unnecessary? What scientific studies do these mandates rely on, particularly now that the vaccine is days away from being available to everyone?” said Thatcher. “Businesses have had to play ‘mask cop’ for the better part of a year now. They deserve some certainty on when they will no longer be threatened with fines.”

The New York Post reports that the department has received a record number of responses and a petition against the idea has nearly 60,000 signatures.

Read the full article here.

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Elections

Oklahoma passes bill banning majority of abortions from ‘moment of fertilization’

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Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Kevin Stitt signed a bill into law on Wednesday which bans virtually all abortions “from the moment of fertilization.”

“I promised Oklahomans that as governor I would sign every piece of pro-life legislation that came across my desk and I am proud to keep that promise today. From the moment life begins at conception is when we have a responsibility as human beings to do everything we can to protect that baby’s life and the life of the mother,” Stitt said in a statement. “That is what I believe and that is what the majority of Oklahomans believe.”

The state legislature first approved the bill, which goes into effect immediately, last week. It bans abortions from the moment of fertilization, except for in cases where rape or incest occurred, or where the mother’s life is in danger.

The law also allows for private citizens to sue doctors or those who participate in “producing an abortion for up to $10,000, mimicking the enforcement mechanism in Texas’s fetal heartbeat law” reports National Review.

Under the new law it is a felony offense to perform an abortion, “which will take effect in August unless a court challenge blocks it.”

 

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