PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With 15 days before the general election, Oregon Right to Life is getting out its message and urging voters to choose anti-abortion candidates.

With the issue of abortion being brought up in numerous political ads as the midterms draw nearer, the issue has received more attention since the Supreme Court elected to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“We allow for taxpayer abortions for people who aren’t even Oregonians, people who come from other countries,” said Senator Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer).

Oregon State Sen. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer), October 24, 2022 (KOIN)
Oregon State Sen. Kim Thatcher (R-Keizer), October 24, 2022 (KOIN)

At a press conference on Monday, the Oregon Right to Life PAC urged Oregonians to vote for Christine Drazan and other anti-abortion candidates.

“Across the state, millions are being spent calling pro-life candidates extreme. And we’re here to say Oregon’s laws are what is extreme,” said Oregon Right to Life Executive Director Lois Anderson.

KOIN 6 News reached out to Planned Parenthood, who expressed displeasure with the press conference.

“Instead of respecting every person’s decision and acknowledging the complexities of medical care, anti-abortion extremists are again resorting to inflammatory rhetoric to distract from their true agenda — to interfere and dictate personal medical decisions. Everyone deserves the freedom to decide what’s best for their own circumstances in consultation with their doctor,” Planned Parenthood said in a statement.

The organization also said “Oregon Right to Life and Republican Christine Drazan want to ban abortion and take away Oregonians’ fundamental rights,” and pointed to Drazan’s sponsoring a bill that could throw doctors in jail for providing abortion care.

“No one should be forced to carry a pregnancy against their will and face the life-altering consequences of being denied essential health care,” the ACLU said in a statement. “While Oregon has broad legal protections of abortion, reproductive health care, and gender-affirming care, we have more work to do to ensure safe and equitable access statewide. Our rights are under attack, and we cannot afford to lose any ground,” the statement said.

Multiple ads from Kotek display her support for abortion rights.

Ben Gaskins, a political science professor at Lewis & Clark College says while the overwhelming majority of Oregonians support abortion rights, it’s not the main factor driving people to the polls.

An ultrasound inside a doctor's office (KOIN, file)
An ultrasound inside a doctor’s office (KOIN, file)

“As an issue, abortion ranks fairly low in most voters’ rankings, even after overturning Roe v. Wade. A poll in August showed only 16% of Democratic voters see abortion as the top issue at play when they’re looking at who to support for governor. It’s an issue that could be important in the margins, but ultimately is unlikely to be the main thing that drives turnout or determines who people vote for,” Gaskins said.

He also said Oregon voters are more interested right now in issues like crime, homelessness, livability, cost of living and the economy.

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