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Abortion Takes Center Stage in Oregon Governor’s Race


[Portland] – This week, Oregon press zeroed in on how abortion and reproductive rights will impact the Oregon Governor’s race – and for good reason. In a post-Roe world, governors serve as the last line of defense against abortion bans.

Yesterday on OPB, reporter Lauren Dake explained how the winner of this race will have immense power to determine the future of reproductive rights in Oregon:

“The next governor will be instrumental in determining how much state money is invested in reproductive health care. The governor holds the power to both propose and veto budgets, which in Oregon have often carved out money for reproductive rights.”

Tina Kotek is the only candidate for governor who unequivocally supports funding programs that ensure access to abortion care for everyone who needs it. 

Meanwhile, former Senator Betsy Johnson is facing new criticism this week after the Willamette Week resurfaced a video of the head of “Republicans for Betsy” stating that on the issue of abortion, Betsy Johnson is “virtually identical” to Oregon Right to Life-endorsed candidate Christine Drazan.

As Julia Schumway reported in the Oregon Capital Chronicle, the issue of abortion is just another example of Betsy Johnson “trying to have it both ways.”

“Johnson describes her position as no different from Kotek’s, while her Republican supporters contend Johnson’s stance is effectively the same as Drazan’s.”

Meanwhile, Republican candidate Christine Drazan is deeply out of touch with the majority of Oregonians on the issue of abortion. Drazan celebrated the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and told OPB that she would have vetoed the state’s landmark Reproductive Health Equity Act in 2017. 

Drazan has also been proud to tout her endorsement from Oregon Right to Life, an affiliate of the national organization that recently came under fire for arguing that the government should force a 10-year-old rape victim to remain pregnant.

The increased scrutiny from local press has made it abundantly clear that Tina is the only candidate Oregonians can trust on reproductive rights and access to abortion. As Pro-Choice Oregon PAC Co-Chair Estela Muñoz Villarreal said:

“There is a reason why Pro-Choice Oregon PAC and our partners at Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon and The Mother PAC have endorsed Tina Kotek and Tina Kotek only. She is the only candidate we can count on to unequivocally fight for abortion access and defend our reproductive rights.”

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